I dream'd a dream to-night.
And so did I.
Well, what was yours?
That dreamers often lie.
In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.
O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you ... (William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet)
I am talking of dreams. A series of dreams that I have experienced over a lifetime. Some recurring, others solitary visions that cannot be forgotten. Visits from those no longer with us, offering messages, hope, forgiveness. The most recent was two weeks ago, and it was a dream of one of the students who died in the horrific car accident at the end of June. I felt that I had no right to dream this, that others would benefit from my dream more than me, but it was I who saw the girl - felt her presence, saw her smile.
I have had many dreams; nightmares, night terrors, hallucinations, hauntings. In the clutches of a sickness induced fever I hallucinate. There were many times that my body became paralysed by fear as I felt the stalking presence that chased me endlessly throughout my childhood. 'Fever Dreams'. I dreaded the onset of illness, which was inevitable as I was constantly sick. It was then when I would experience the hell of Hades, and welcome the daylight that would chase the terror away.
True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy ... (William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet)
Is that all it is? A child's lonely, feverish musings? Left without company in a hospital ward, crying herself to sleep? Or is it more? One will never know I guess, but I would like to think that it more. I am sure you're thinking that inviting the devouring beasts is madness, however without acknowledging the truth of their presence, one cannot accept that the others who visit are also true.
A childhood visit from an angel who sat on the end of my bed and comforted me when I was sad.
My mother, who promised to protect me, my sisters and brother for as long as we needed.
My family's childhood pet dog Beau, who forgave us our lack of knowledge about the nature of his illness.
My husband's grandfather who scared me in the hallway of our home.
My dearly loved pet dog Ickus, who continued to run tracks around the backyard.
And the girl, one I taught many years ago, who visited my classroom via my dreams and told me that she was safe.
You tell me - am I dreaming of, or dealing with, the dead?