the self

An Evolution of Self

                The earliest dreams I can remember, the dreams of infancy, they have no plot or structure. They are mere flashes of shape, color and sound, containing pyramidic rainbow melodies bursting with light. Bright pinpoints rush by me and consume me. The nebulous ‘I’ is drawn into their complexity. ‘I’ plunge into their depths, and in the patterns spun by infinity I recognize the spark of self.

My baby brain slowly assembles an identity.

                In these dreams, I am not yet a physical presence, but a mind. These lights encompass all I am, and then, as I slowly take form, they do not. In the dark, night after night, I gradually become distinguished from my subconscious.

The self is born.

                I grow old, drowning in the light of the world around me. The world I grow more conscious of as the years pass. The world I grow more a part of and that grows more a part of me. The other, Earth’s dark passenger, invades my dreams, flooding out my rainbows with the brilliance of the sun. She repopulates my dreams in many forms, those of circumstance and of character. I become aware of her, and confuse her otherness with my self, hear her many cacophonous voices as my own, and therein the Id’s dwindling whisper is lost.

                I am aware. With growing awareness comes shrinking room for discovery. I calcify in the rigidity of what the world is, and of what and who ‘I’ am.

                The last dreams I can remember are unyielding. Even as they flow from plot to plot, from implausibility to implausibility, they remain hijacked by the Other. The Other who demands they remain fixed in her world. One I was drawn into as a child and can no longer escape. The world that defines the self. Within these dreams she dictates what is possible, not I.

                And yet, within hides a thin voice. The voice of the past, reminding me what is possible.

                It whispers:

                …even as you fly, lofted through the clouds, you remain bound.

                …even as you commune with the dead, the loved and lost, you remain aggrieved.

                …even as you cry, you are happy. As you smile, and laugh, you are sad.

                The voice whispers: “We are not The Other. We are more. Throw off its shackles, its webbed form of lies. Within us hides a rainbow. Within that rainbow, hides you.”

                Sometimes, at night, I wake, cheeks stained with salt. I am unsure of why I was sad, of what loss haunts my dreams. I do not recall what was before, but I know it was greater than what is now. Surpassing the real in its vague openness.

                Sometimes, in the dark, I dream of pyramids built of song. Structures that fluctuate with color and with light, modulating like a rainbow that yawns across the sky, or a mirage shattered by cold. Sometimes, I remember the impossible structures of youthful fantasy, and forget the lies I know.

                Sometimes I forget the world that binds me.