Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast,--
- Shakespeare, Macbeth II.2
Whoever came up with the notion of waking being emergence got it wrong. The truth is, it is sleep that is the open plain, on which our dreams prance as free as horses, and to wake is to retreat into the cave of our wordly lives, cut off from the sunlight of those visions that we remember, but cannot describe. The mountain of the self weighs down upon our heads, the day is a stone throat, choking us, and time drips as slow as untasted water. It is sleep that is the true release for us, sleep where we emerge from the cocoons of our daily round, from these wombs of our becoming, blinking shyly at first, superstitious of the constellations of our unconsciousness, turning restlessly back to where the dark mouth of waking offers us its safety. But it is not long before we tread more confidently into sleep's farthest reaches, delighting in its unjudging freedom, almost impossible to call back, and when summoned, returning reluctantly to the familiar closeness of the truth.
If I say I dreamt of you last night, will you remember our meeting, out on the campagna? The grass whispering with intimations, the plucked flower of that moment that made distance impossible. The intimacy picked clean between us, its petals left in our wake like footprints?
Or will you deny me, deny that this ever happened, turn away into the dark recesses of the practical, the everyday, the provable - and refuse to hear me calling to you, from out here, in this dream turned suddenly lonely?
Have you ever woken up with the feeling that there is something you have lost, and will never be able to remember, now, what it was?