Friday, April 17, 2009

A Last Dream

I thought that I had dreamed for my last time and that I was slipping away into a peaceful, blissful place.
by Charlie Leck

The other night I had a dream in which I was dreaming that I was dreaming. Confusing? You should have had the dream! You bet it was confusing. Yet, something wonderful happened in all the bewilderment and I am happy that I have lived to tell you about it.

It was a confusing dream and I couldn’t get my mind wrapped around it and I realized I was thrashing around in my bed. Of course, I wasn’t doing that at all. That was happening in the second layer of the dream in which I was dreaming that I was dreaming. In addition to tossing and turning, in this second layer of the dream, I was also having some interesting chest pains in the first level. In one of these levels of dreaming, I remember thinking that the pains were interesting.

“So, this is what the chest pains, right before you have a heart attack, feel like,” I remember – or I remembered in the dream about dreaming –saying to myself. I was thinking that these pains were like little electrical charges that jolted me and caused me little nudges of discomfort.

At the shallowest level of this several layers of dreaming, I admitted to myself that I was about to die from a heart attack that was being forewarned by the middle level of the dream.

At that point, all the levels of the dream seemed to meld together and I was somewhat awake and somewhat asleep and I remember feeling extraordinarily peaceful. No, peacefulness is not what I felt. It was more a peaceful blissfulness. It was an ultimately perfect moment of absolute acceptance.

I never really expected to wake again and thought there would be no more mornings at the keyboard, no more walks through the countryside with my dog and indeed no more fantastic cuddling with my wife; yet I was fully accepting and satisfied with whom I was and with what I had accomplished. I was prepared and eager. It was nothing short of an incomparable, enigmatic moment.

Just then – in that extraordinarily peaceful instant – my wife’s alarm clock made a piercing, whining noise. As usual, she made no move to reach over to turn it off. She buried her face deeply into her pillow and groaned. I rose up on one elbow and noticed the creamy-soft back of her shoulders and felt somewhat surprised.

“I’m alive,” I said to her, nearly singing it!

“I’m dead,” she said and pulled the covers up over her head while the alarm clock continued to shrill.

I thought that I would try to explain the dream within a dream about a dream, but I knew that neither she nor anyone else would get it.

I bolted from the bed and happily turned off my wife's alarm clock, pulled on my robe and strode toward the kitchen singing a delightful song from “Oklahoma!”

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