"And everything changes. And nothing is truly lost."

You see, there are two ways into another’s dreams. We can go through the dream king; or we can go by the moon’s road. But the dream king has little time for you women, and even less for my kind; while the moon is ever ours. It’s time to draw down the moon.

Thessaly, in SANDMAN #34: “Bad Moon Rising”

I’ve been told that my dreams are interesting or at least my retelling of those dreams. Two recent ones stand out in that I feel like I followed separate paths of the Dreaming to get there.

The first finds me by one of my best friends, a true Casanova prophet, sitting by me and dropping an encyclopedia of knowledge and I listen to each and every word as if mana. I wake up not remembering a damn thing that was told to me. I can tell you everything else about the dream—what he’s wearing, what I’m wearing, where we are, the shape of the clouds, everything but the knowledge. All that was handed to me is stripped as if some kind of transport tax to return to this world of uncertainty.

This just enforces my belief that babies are born with all the knowledge they need. You come into this world equipped with everything you need: language, music, love, rage, a clear sense of friendship, a strong aversion to those who would harm us and the image of our death. And if we maintained all this, what would be the damn point? So we throw it all away in bits and pieces, make believe on destiny and invest in deja vu when we damn well know where we should be and how to get there but are more fearful to reach the end of the story.

My second dream is one I’ve never had before. It was as if forgiveness threw on a plaid shirt and came to visit me. Last time, it came in a more familiar form that of pity. It hid behind the face of my deepest regret but wouldn’t approach me directly. It sent emissaries to broker some kind of peace. Right when I was most honest with myself, an old demon emerged again (also with the face of my deepest regret) and played agitator. All this was way too familiar.

Last night, I was in my old bedroom but now there were trees growing everywhere. They reached to the skies of my last home in every shade of green and yellow possible and in the middle of the room was a smile with arms open like the ocean. I was confessing every wrong thing I ever did to anyone (including myself) and the head nod said “You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know.” We walked around the grounds. Other people stopped by and I repeated my catharsis to similar results. I waited for the axe to come down but it never did and then even stopped worrying about that. Woke right before the big payoff but still felt happy to know there is a place in myself that I can even forgive myself. Now I just have to remember the way but I think I’ve always known it.

Birds of a thousand colours danced in the sky when I was a boy. They brightened the day with their intricate songs. “We are who we choose to be,” sang the goldfinch, when the sun was high. “I dream about dreams about dreams,” sang the nightingale, under the pale moon.

Master Li, in SANDMAN #74, “The Exile”

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  1. It’s an interesting point you make, in regards to being born into this world with all the knowledge we need. My conviction is that what precludes our being able to remember any past knowledge or lives (assuming that such things exist) is our inability to encode and store this information due to our lack of language. If we could only find a way to teach children how to speak in the womb, who knows what we might be able to remember….I know….I’m , like, deep ;-)…..adios…mcs

    p.s. In the event that you have any disturbing dreams, please don’t post in regards to them. I don’t want to know what’s happening on the other side of the wall…;-)

  2. “let the man who cannot dream be a condemned man.”

    and what did this old demon look like? was (s)he kind, with tender eyes and deep lines forming around the corners of smiles. or did you recoil when (s)he unfolded a crooked arm to touch you.

  3. My old demon wears the mask of an Incan death goddess. Her eyes only reflect, they never initiate fire. If there are two deaths- she is the one that we run from, the death that finds us when the ink is still drying.

    I know the eyes you talk about. I’ve seen it when the African dance chief visited me speaking seven languages all at once. Her eyes could be mistaken for sadness if you thought the lines around them were graveyard but when she spoke with me they seemed more like rough bark celebrating nature in the atomic age. She told me stories from the villages of Côte d’Ivoire as we shared fish stew (bones and all) in a Bronx apartment.

    There is no recoil when the crooked arm holds my wait tight since it seems we are always on the ledge of a midtown skyscraper where the city lights mimic heaven and the back alleyway below seems like my best exit. My heart becomes a shaky gyroscope in her arms giving me no direction.

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