Waking up is hard to do.
As a child, I would be overcome by the sensation that nothing that happened the day before was real. My parents lived in such a remote universe that my “alternative life” as a teenager who actively volunteered with human rights groups, worked on a literary magazine and drove her friends to all parts of town in search of adventure and youthful thrills just didn’t seem to fit with the minimalistic perfection of my bedroom. This mistrust of my perceptions was always compounded by the early morning feeling that life around me was kind of settling into place as though the very particles that made up my bed, bookcase and mirror had shifted forms during the night. For a few fleeting moments in the morning, my room would feel much more like a movie-set than the familiar and constant haven it was intended to be.
In college, the sensation that my surroundings weren’t real persisted but shifted. I would wake thinking I was in my childhood room to find myself stretched out on the dorm lawn with my friends, nuzzled in my tiny cot across from my distant roommate or, later, lying beside my boyfriend who may have been thrashing about in the throes of seizure brought on by low blood sugar and diabetes. Calling an ambulance in those days almost became rote action, as did reaching for a tube of glucose and then racing off to class on foot a mile or so away. Once, I was standing outside the journalism building during a tornado watch. I saw a wall of water hurtling toward me. It passed over my body without me feeling anything except a quick rush of wind. It was not until a few seconds later that wet water drops smacked into me, soaking me from behind. Much of my college experience can be understood in terms of that awakening : I faced life head-on but didn’t register what I was happening until it had already left me, shaking but still standing, in the distance.
Now I wake up to my husband breathing steadily beside me and my infant son rustling the blankets in his bed. Upstairs my daughter may be stomping around making pretend tea and practicing expressions in her mirror. Every other weekend, and sometimes many days in between, my stepson will be shuffling around downstairs rooting through his siblings’ toys, tinkering with crayons and peeping into the mysterious cavern that is my home office. I wake up feeling simultaneously stressed out and peaceful. What debts must we pay? How will we ever pay them? What tasks must I do to maintain my house, my jobs, my sanity and health of my husband and kids? This is the stressful part. The peace comes from the simple acknowledgement that we are all here together –united by love and uplifted by my adult interpretation of the sensation I had as child: Reality is not fixed, so I’m free to create a world in which all our needs are met. I’m no longer living with people whose visions are out-of-step with my own. I have the freedom to manifest a waking dream. I’m not sure how I got here, but it’s awesome.
Welcome to my blog Rasberry Relief: Nourishment for Women. What visions stir your soul as you lift your face to the morning sun?