Sunday, November 11, 2007

Codornices Dreaming

There's a space between awake and asleep where thoughts dance lightly in my head, tingling and teasing like pixie dust and then blowing away into nothingness. Sometimes I'm able to force awareness just long enough to grasp onto an elusive thought before it disappears, but most of the time I'm left only with a sensation and, if I'm lucky, an accompanying emotion.

This morning, as I drifted in and out of sleep, I dreamed of holding my breath so as not to scatter the pixie dust. And maybe because it was morning and I was closer to consciousness anyway, I was able to not only be present in my dream, but to remember it.

I was at Codonices Park in Berkeley, a park I loved as a child. I was five. And I was 45. I was both five and 45 in my dream. At the same time. I know this because I was aware of both my physical presence and my deepest emotions being both very childlike and very womanly.

Codonices Park has an amazing concrete slide that's built into the hillside. It's been there for at least 60 years, perhaps longer, and I can promise you that just about every child who has grown up in Berkeley for the past six decades knows what it means to tear a flap off a cardboard box, lay it flat at the top of the cold, gray slide, hold onto it with one hand while positioning themselves on it for maximum speed, and then pushing off for the long curvy ride to the bottom. And I'll bet that every child knows the tunnel that runs under Euclid Street from Codonices Park to the Berkeley Rose Garden on the other side of the street.

These were places I played as a child, and in my almost-asleep-almost-awake morning dream, these were places I played as an almost-adult-almost-child. I was phenomenally happy in my dream, as children so often are, feeling playful and carefree, feeling love and loved, and being completely in the moment. In my dream, I flew down the slide, becoming airborne, and floating as if my ripped cardboard had become a magic carpet. In my dream I discovered jewels that lined the walls of the tunnel, jewels that were warm to the touch, so I held my child-and-woman skin against them, feeling magic -- and magical -- as they warmed me. And in my dream the Rose Garden bloomed every color of the rainbow and the flowers that grew tall all around me felt like a velvet blanket enveloping me.

But in my dream I had the district feeling, as adults so often do, of impending and crushing reality and of very grown-up responsibilities. In my dream, the responsible adult in me was imploring the carefree child in me to "wake up," and the carefree child in me was begging to the responsible adult in me to just let me play for "a few more minutes" before I had to go. Please don't make me step off the magic carpet and let go of the warm, magic jewels and take leave of the garden of a million colors! Please don't make me leave this magic place where I feel so loved and safe. Don't make me wake up!

But I did wake up, jolted out of my blissful dream by the grown-up life that I live. If I'm very still next time and I beckon the pixie dust back some morning, maybe I can go back to my child-woman self and stay and play for a while.

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1 comment:

Jen said...

Wow... pretty heavy morality or guilt or something dream. I love the pixie dust image!

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