Friday, March 05, 2010

Keeping The Faith

When I was a kid, I used to have recurring themes in my dreams. Usually the theme was pretty broad - violence was a common one, with either me killing other people or them killing me. Violent dreams never bothered me, not then and not now. Apparently I'm a bit of a freak that way.

For a while it was shapeshifting, only nobody could see me becoming the other, and my sheer belief wasn't enough to keep it real even for me most of the time. I can't begin to describe how frustrating those ones were...and still are.

And there was the phase of the chasing dreams, where I was being hunted down and only my belief in my invisibility would save me. These ones almost always worked, but that's because by the time these ones came along I had learned to lucid dream (by accident and desperation, mostly, so don't ask me how to do it because I really have no idea) and could control certain aspects of the dream to keep myself safe.

Recently - and by recently I mean the last year or two - I've had a lot of dreams where Darkness is out to get me. Now, I have a confession to make. I am afraid of the dark. Not terrified, but afraid, like a spooked and skittish lamb who's too curious to leave well enough alone in spite of the fear. I always have been afraid of the dark, and I've always refused to cater to that fear by using night-lights or leaving a hall light on or by doing anything to alleviate the fear except by ignoring it and telling myself that the dark is not there to hurt me. I used to go check on my full-to-bursting pregnant ewes at night and not use my flashlight until I had to actually see if their bodies were still round or not, as a sheer test of my nerve. Of course, I had my dog with me. That always helped.

But this Darkness, the Darkness in my dream, it is there to hurt me. It wants me and I don't know why. It is not just darkness - it's Darkness. Ecthroi, nothingness, all-consuming Darkness and it's evil and it wants me and I don't know why and it does more than scare me. It fucking terrifies me.

Most of the time I have a guardian in my dreams. A giant butterfly, a bird, a candle. An angel. Faith. Hope and a source of light within myself. Usually all I have to do is face the darkness and it recoils from the light it sees within me.

But last night - none of that was there.

I was alone, alone in the dark, with lost spirits grasping for me, sad and confused girls reaching from the walls, the dark a deep greeny-blue-grey dusk and there was no way out and there were no doors or windows. I couldn't see and no matter how hard I prayed or squeezed my eyes shut I had no light inside, no light outside, no guardian beside me to protect me or inspire me to find my own protection. Nothing.

It was the most frustrating, terrifying experience I can recall ever having. And I've seen an actual evil spirit.

And then light burst through but within seconds - not even seconds - I knew it was fake, it was a facade put up by the Darkness to fool me into letting down my guard and do you know how exhausting it was to keep that up? Fuck.

I felt myself fighting my way through the layers of dreams I was trapped in and finally was able to reach over and feel S. there beside me and in that I knew I was safe, he was real, he wasn't evil and he wouldn't let them get me, and with that the true light burst through the facade, the Darkness recoiled and I was left in my sleep in peace.

And then instead of falling into peaceful dreams, I turned back and prayed to God and apologized for finding safety in S. instead of in Him, and couldn't focus enough on the true light to finish my prayer before I was sucked away into another dream and gone entirely into the land of sleep once more.

At least it wasn't another terrifying dream. It was something mundane and normal enough I don't remember it at all and it didn't stick with me in any way.

Upon true waking, I find it interesting that I felt guilt for finally finding peace somewhere.

And I find it absolutely terrifying that I couldn't find the light inside myself this time.

What if it's gone? What if I can never find the light again?

What if the light is love and I can't find it in God anymore?

Then at least thank God I can find it in S. I can find the light somewhere. Maybe I shouldn't try to analyze this so hard. If I couldn't find the light at all I'd be screwed. I'd never sleep again.

And I should probably blame at least a little bit of this terror on the fact that I've been sick for 4 and a half days now and my mind is probably exhausted and fuelling my dreams with fever and confusion; but that's precious little comfort when the feeling of the dream is still stuck on my skin and in my mind like a mist from a fog that won't quite brush off me. Like spider webs I can't find but I can feel.

So I look up and see the face of the man who I can touch who I know loves me; and I take what I can from that and try to remember that God loves me so much more that I can't even comprehend it (which is the problem, isn't it? If I could comprehend it maybe I'd remember it better...) and try to keep the faith.

Whatever that means.

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