Updated: Jan 30, 2022
I had a dream that the moon fell from the sky. It was not catastrophic or noisy at all. In fact, it made no sound and it fell the way a paper plate would fall if it were torn into two crescent halves. In the early blend of dusk and twilight I watched the paper moon fall in flutter dips and scoops in the air. It was quite subtle really.
We know, of course, that the land of dreams is surreal and strange. Cloaked in mystery and yet somehow revealing the shades of the subconscious. This particular vision was set in a western backdrop. Perhaps it was the American West or the Canadian frontier or an amalgamation of the two. In this slumbering vignette I had the distinct double-mirror feeling of a lucid dream. I knew that my voyeur self outside of the dream had never actually been to those places and that I was a chosen visitor. My dream passport was stamped with a hopeful turn somewhere out of my own experience and the sandman let me go that far. And though I knew somewhere in the recesses that I was sleeping I felt very much awake and doubly alive.
It starts in the middle of the plot as dreams often do -built on the collective foundations of consciousness and metaphor. I identified my surroundings as some sort of community event. The people were milling about and cleaning up after a livestock auction, a fair, a horse show. We were in the country after all. There was a faded rust red barn and a few outbuildings. Parking areas were roped off patches of tall grass and dusty paths formed where the blades of green were stomped down by friendly boot traffic. I knew that I was a visitor, but I was welcomed just the same.
I also had the distinct feeling that I was a dancer. Not only that, but a trained dancer. I had borrowed memories of city trains, tights and body suits, mirrored studios, and a strong swan neck holding up my head. There was an understanding of auditions and dusty velvet seats in aging theatres. Another lifetime. Miraculously I felt my essence, lithe and limber and zinging with electricity on this dreamscape prairie. I also had the sharp clarity that no one really knew who I was. I swam in anonymity and drank in the feeling of open possibility. I happily wore the flexible identity of being a stranger in a strange land. My brain was giving me a generous recess here. It was all play from then on.
Let’s talk about the fashion for a minute. I was wearing perfectly worn-in denim jeans. I'm talking original 501s. The kind of thing you hope to find in a vintage store, but never do. I also found myself wearing a loose, flowing white button-down shirt. I never wear this kind of thing in my waking life. Ever. Because it felt like it needed dry cleaning. Or magic. Clearly it was a wardrobe choice that only makes sense in a dream - fabulous, flowing and indulgent. I remember the sturdy companionship of perfectly worn boots on my feet. Not at all like the stiff leather pair I own in my waking life. These boots were shorter, cut to the ankle and moved like buttery inspiration. I knew they had already walked a thousand dusty miles to earn their current state. I barely felt them on my feet, but that is because my feet barely touched the ground. I was physically unfettered. It felt effortless and amazing.
I had been given a job of taking down the signs that marked the roped off sections of parking in the grass, but my clean-up job got lost in movement and moonlight and I felt absolutely no obligation to hang on to the duty. Unleashing the dance training of my former dream-life I began to leap and twirl across the clearing, between the space of the faded red barn, the gravel and dirt, and the friendly strangers in the half light. The people around me did not seem to mind. It was the end to the day anyway; a time to drop pretense.
The friendly onlookers waved me off and smiled to the side. They shook their heads playfully and said good-natured things like “she's not from around here”. I was bounding in weightless joy, so I paid little attention to their comments. They were extras. Their faces were not as memorable as the fact that I no longer belonged to gravity. At least not entirely. The movement mattered more than the audience.
I could leap like an action star. The kind of leap that only occurs with movie magic and harnesses and lighting. But oh, could I sail when I raised my arms. There was power in it. I could almost fly. The ascent took ages before I found the ground again. I carried the suspension until I wanted to come down. Bounding in slow motion as dusk turned from pink to purple to moonlight and sparkle.
And that is when the moon tore in two. I paused as it fell from the sky in front of me. And somehow, I was not afraid. It was as if the moon could not bend to contain my joy, so it split in two and then fluttered down. I stopped and saw the night for what it was and stared unafraid at the blank spot where the moon used to be. Then my narrator vision decided to participate, and I imagined the moon back into its place. I just put it right back up in the sky and adjusted it as if it was a picture frame on a wall. Casually. To acknowledge the uncharacteristic lunar event my dream-self yelled in a pedestrian ye-haw, howdy kind of manner. As if I was at a raucous party and someone just kicked the keg, I hollered into the night sky “Well, We done cracked the moon!” So go ahead. And get lost in dream analysis. Take a swim in the surrealist drips of motion and motivation. I like to ask silent questions in the half waking place. To participate in the dream and decide to put the moon back in its place, just to see it there again. I hang on to the remnants of my dreams in the waking as one might hold onto the ends of a net at the side of a boat on a great body of water. I cling to what is left of it from above the surface and watch the dream move like liquid under subconscious water. That is where I learn about the unsaid things. Dark and dangerous. Powerful and potential. Whispers and nudges. Glimpsing a different version of the life I thought I wanted because I am not an imposter in the land of my own making.
The edges are not definite, but in this dream dance and familiar foreign place I know that I am celebrating freedom. That I would not mind being a stranger if that meant I could be somewhere new. Somewhere earthy. Somewhere outside. When the moon hits twilight and rises in a perfect glow. Where I can feel weightless and compelled by nothing but dance and joy and dust under well-worn boots.
I would meet you there if you want. In that twilight place. I get the sense that there will be a dance in the faded red barn and that everyone is invited. There is a chill that approached with a kiss in the air, but I know that it will be warm inside. The others will join us and it will be warm and good and there will be strings of lights and the shuffle of boots. There will be homespun music, men in old flannel shirts, and children wearing Stetsons and eating too much cake. I get the distinct sense that there will also be a giant bowl of syrupy sweet fruit punch.
There will be dancing.