Swimming

There is a place you must go, and though you cannot see where it is, you know it is, know the distance you must travel is vast and unknown, and there is no sun to serve you as a guide, nor any guarantee that you will make it there, and instead be condemned to dwell in the darkness of infinity, and while there, you ask yourself: “How much more must one endure? How long can one endure?” 

But these questions do not suffice, for you know the answer is obscured by the shadows of uncertainty, and so you grasp what you can, to guide you through the night, and hope you will return to see the sun again.

And so you turn to the memory of the notes that still exist within you, for darkness has no power over them, for these notes reside far above the clouds, above the sky, above the heavens, where the shadows of light are bred and born and transformed, from the greater darkness within the universe, which we will never reach or fully know, but still know it well, for those notes, though born in darkness, are overcome by the power of light that breaks apart from the darkness from which they were issued, and sheds.

And with this light, you know darkness will never win the war, for light is far greater than the birth of night, and so you arm yourself with those notes as your guide – The Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G, which stirs in you the will to live and swim towards the light.   

 

Swimming In My Dreams

To say I have a vivid dream life would literally be putting it mildly. Not only is it vivid, but solutions to complex problems – lessons which I have repeatedly failed to learn – are found there instead of … here.
For years, I wrestled with my mother’s death, and the consequences of those battles were disastrous. To document those battles here would be cumbersome, but those I battled through my dreams – although challenging – are far easier to put to ink. 
Flowers
Simply put, I refused to let my mother die. I continually pulled variations of themes that would bring her to life, and they failed every time. The most popular theme, of course, was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The things I could do with that theme … infinite … and it continued to blossom, as I rearranged and reconfigured my mother in a myriad of ways – most of them gruesome representations of who she had been and what I was doing with who she had been. 
She was not happy and admonished me repeatedly about my futile attempts to revive her. 
The endless surgeries, she said, had manifested hideously on the temporal plane. But still, I would not relent. I created variations and more variations. 
It was with immense relief when I finally borrowed a theme from a nursery rhyme and through which that puzzle was finally solved and shelved. It was over. I was done. I passed the lesson after repeatedly failing to do so. 


Humpty-Dumpty 
We sat (my mother and I) in a pristine laboratory made of stainless steel. I had never been in a more sterile environment. Not a spec of dust lay on the floor. And there I was, ready with my scalpel, to perform yet another incision into a rapidly decaying fantasy, attempting to reach a satisfactory healing of my psyche, where my mother lay. 
The table on which I wanted to put her – also made of stainless steel – remained empty. I searched the laboratory, but there was nothing to find there, no further illusions to spread, consume, yet strangely, it was not hunger that I felt, but the scent of a resolution in my midst. 
She refused, of course, to lay on the table, and walked me round the room until she finally was beyond my reach, sitting on the highest shelf, inches from the ceiling, looking down at me. And that’s where the lesson began and ended, as she brutally killed my fantasy, and lulled me to sleep with a child’s nursery rhyme. 

Oh.  I get it. 
Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall … Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall … And all the King’s Horses and all the King’s couldn’t put Humpty-Dumpty together again. 

Now once again my mother makes her customary return to teach me yet another lesson, which I must learn. But this time I am totally baffled by it. 
… Something about a living arrangement, coupled with lack of sleep, is a dangerous formula for me …
I had to be by the sea, I told her, which I currently am, and a miasma of vague emotions flooded me. I was headed for the sea, I told her, and she looked at me sternly and said to me …

Do you have any idea how many times we’ve pulled you from the sea?
But I don’t recall swimming in the sea before the age of sixteen, I said to her, as I pulled whatever memories of the sea I had as a child, although in later years I knew I had been retrieved repeatedly – much to my annoyance. 
She sighed.  
You mean to tell me that was you?