It’s one step forward and three steps back. That is the way it is, life in all its glory. I have never known a time without struggles.
I know that this is the voice of my seasonal affective disorder talking. Funny I recognize it and yet I cannot rid the spell cast upon me. I feel it in my very marrow. I want to cast it out. Out, damn spot out! I’m sounding like Lady McBeth. I hope I’m not going mad.
Perhaps I’m being melodramatic, the hidden actress in me coming out. I should not be so weak and selfish, feeling only my own small discomforts. But I canot deal with all that is out THERE – the Ebola in Africa, the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong, the violence of Isis…
The world is too much with us. I feel small and helpless in its wake. It does me no good to be crushed under its weight. I turn off the television set. It’s not healthy to go to bed with the images of health workers in white protective clothing, carrying away stretchers of bodies wrapped in white. Let that not be the last image before I close my eyes for the night.
I sit for moments, drinking my hot water, watching Sheba sleep. The remains of a stuffed toy by her face, front paws curled and tucked in – a sweeter image to take to sleep with me. I get up, straightening up and folding the Hudson’s Bay blanket, picking up strayed napkins off the couch. I take my mug to the kitchen.
If I want to feel better, I have to do better. If I want different, I have to do different. I put away the few pots and pans left drying on the dish rack. It would be nice to be greeted by order on the counter in the morning. I move on to my office, clearing off my desk. There is no reason why I am not able to do that.
It is morning. After a little struggle getting to sleep, I have had a good sleep. Good things come to those who try. I wake up from a dream, remembering it vividly.
My hairdresser, Audrey comes home with me after work. It is strange how I still remember her name. I haven’t gone to her for over 20 years. She gives me a perm at the kitchen table. It takes 3 hours. I have no sense of her putting in the rollers but I remember the shampooing and rinsing. She was using this small teacup to pour the warm water over my hair.
The teacup is my mother’s. She had found it discarded somewhere and she wants it back. She’s always rescuing cups and napkins from eating out and reusing them again to pour cooking fat in and the napkins to wipe up messes. She hates how wasteful and careless we are in regards to the environment. So she does what she can.
My perm is done and Audrey calculates her time and worth. I can’t see the number on the bill. Dreams are like that – not clear nor complete. It is a mish mash of this and that, much like Alice in Wonderland. Somehow, my father is at my place and he is dusting my bookshelves. That is most unlikely in real life. His mother, my grandmother (now deceased) is the dream, too. She is doing the dishes – another most unlikely.
The dream continues. I see my gold shag carpet in the living room with the floral orange and brown sofa set. Remember those? Our family is suppose to go out for supper but some of the kids are sick. It is called off. A coworker pops into the dream. I’m coughing up a storm in front of her, working up an excuse to phone in sick for the next day. I’ve been retired for a year! And yet it follows me in sleep. Not often, I’m happy to say.
What stuff dreams are made up of! I wonder what it means. Perhaps there are no meaning, hidden or unhidden. Maybe it is just irritated dendrites firing and misfiring. I shall just enjoy the mysteries of the dream and move on with the day. The sun has just come out. My Chai is strong and sweet. Savouring life, valuing dreams.