One Day

Every night I have dreams.

Every night I see things that no one else does, and every morning I memorize them so that I can keep them. So that maybe, one day, someone else will see them too.

I could write them down; I often do. I have a dream journal, full of words, full of descriptions, full of things that aren’t the images in my mind. I could tell you all about them. But sometimes, sometimes I don’t want to. I don’t want to write about the river with water that flows both ways. Or the white gate with the crescent cutout, set into a tall hedge, leading down into the forest. Or the plane that just tipped over and is hanging from the ceiling, paper fluttering down through it’s broken body, the dusty light shafts making the pages look like falling doves. I don’t want to tell you something you have to see with your own mind. I want to show you exactly what I see in mine.

But I can’t draw. I can’t paint. I am talented at rendering; give me a photograph or a painting or an object, and I can copy it down to within an inch of its essence. I won’t enjoy the tedious work, but I can do it. But something from my imagination? Never. I don’t know anything about figures, about perspective, about lighting. When it comes to images, I can copy but I can’t create.

I have a good eye. I can take pictures from the right angle, with the right proportions. I can make it look better on film than it did in real life. I can capture the peak of the perfect moment if it’s there in front of my eyes. But how do you take a picture of a scene inside your head? A scene that exists in your imagination, and your imagination only?

I’m afraid. I’m frightened that these images – with their colors and their depth and their utter realness that exists solely in my mind – will one day exist nowhere at all.

I have words. I have more words than I know what to do with, and I love them and I’m grateful for what they give me. But, these dreams. These dreams, indescribably lovely and terrifyingly fragile, make me mourn the fact that words are all I have.





A feeling had become a thought and it was there above her, shown as a shape in the wordless language of the mind. It hung just out of reach, suspended from a place she couldn’t see. It was large and almost knowable and she ached to know it.

So she reached for it, quickly and gently, just like you’re supposed to, but the second she touched it she knew. This one would be too big to hold.

But she felt it all the same, running her hands over it, trying to turn it into something she could understand. Trying to fit it into words. She couldn’t, so instead she tried to fit words into it. But the thought would take the words she gave and absorb them into itself, getting ever fuller and no less knowable, becoming something she tried to make it rather than something that it was. She saw this but she couldn’t stop, couldn’t bare for it to disappear. She fed it words until there were none left to feed it.

It’s too large, she whispered to herself, too large to keep, too large, too fragile. She tried to force her hands away, to let go of the thought herself before it let go on its own. But she couldn’t, and it slipped itself right out of her grasping hands, past her reaching fingers and away.

She watched the space it left fill up again, as if it were never there. She couldn’t see the lack but she felt the loss, felt it all the way down to the feeling it came from. She lowered her arms, clenching her empty fists, and watched as new feelings turned into wordless thoughts, shapes that hung above her, new and endless and almost knowable.

She allowed herself one more moment of grief and and then she opened her palms, lifted her arms, and reached again.


Would I?

Sometimes I feel like my memory is its own separate world and all the people in it go about their memory lives while I’m stuck here in the present.

I have a feeling they all get together from time to time. They sit around and swap stories and the tales get all tangled up, and when I try to follow one thread from beginning to end I can’t because they’re all intertwined.

Sometimes I think they do it on purpose so I won’t be able to tell them apart any longer, so they stop meaning so much to me, so I’ll leave them alone. Or maybe they do it for my own good, shut me out and cut me off, because they know how much I’d want to stay if I could.