"Lotus Opening" by L. Folk

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Melancholic World of the Subconscious

There it was again, the white house on Horace Road, the house I used to visit nearly everyday as a girl.  The house in the dream was similar to the actual house with concrete steps leading to the front door, a mirror over the piano in the living room, but this house had a multitude of hidden doors.  I went inside with a heavy heart; I was looking for those lost to me, but once again, they weren't home. 
Aside from my visiting the white house in my dreams, I had gone back there a few years ago after my childhood friend, N, had contacted me through facebook.  We went to see N's parents; her father was alive back then.  My own father had been gone some eight years; this seemed ironic because my father was nearly 2 decades younger than hers.  I thought the visit would bring closure for me and I would no longer dream about the house, execute fruitless searches, because I had found my friend and her parents, the people who were a prominent part of my childhood.  But that wasn't the case.

I go about my business in my conscious life.  I take care of my twin babies, keep the house clean, take the dog for a walk, teach my classes.  I do one task then another then another.  Each task is a rung on the ladder that extends from morning to night.  But while I'm climbing the ladder during the day, I'm also living somewhere else- in the amorphous, melancholic world of my subconscious where I am still grieving.  The part of me that dwells there- perhaps it is the girl, or maybe the soul- is conveniently compartmentalized. My meager attempts at meditation and prayer do not satisfy her.  Perhaps this is why she is so prominent in my dreams.

In this last dream regarding the white house, a former student attempted to break in.  His name is Bobby D.  I had his sister as a senior back when I taught high school; she was respectful and diligent as Bobby was when I had him as a freshman.  By junior year, Bobby started having behavioral problems; it was this Bobby who was at the door trying to get in.

Just as Bobby D was sneaking in, I slammed the door on his knee and fingers.  I succeeded in bolting it, but there were others that needed locking.  At one point, the hidden doors multiplied infinitely in both directions, like an image does when you place it between two mirrors.  Bobby was out there, looming, readying himself to break in and take things.  On a shelf in the garage, there were remotes, about ten of them, each with ducktape over the buttons; I freaked when I saw all of the overhead doors needing to be locked.  Then my father appeared.  Together we worked at closing all of the overhead doors and locking them to keep Bobby D out.

Once, in meditation, and guided by a teacher, the presence of my father was potent; it was as if he was sitting in my lap.  Tears burst through the lashes of my closed eyes.  It had been awhile since I thought of him; I had been busy.  And yet, I could feel his eagerness to come through, as if he had been waiting for a while behind some locked door.

I have learned this: the friend I thought was lost to me, still exists.  She lives her life much as I do, taking care of children, maintaining a house, keeping a job.  I have also learned that my father still exists, albeit subtly.  It is uncanny sometimes, the way he flashes across a face, be it my sister's or my son's or my brother's.  There he is, I say to myself, as I observe my son and the way he watches cartoons with his lips in a semi-smile, his eyes alighted and depicting casual amusement, or as I observe my sister and the crinkle in her brow that shows up when she is perplexed, or the way my brother regards his car, meticulously, as my father did his.  And then, of course, there are the dreams where he shows up, suddenly and I am once again, whole.

At the end of this particular dream, after the doors were locked and my father had gone, I waited inside to tell my friend that her father had died.  In truth, I was eager to tell her, not to make her sad, but to have a confidant.  Because in that amorphous, melancholic world of the subconscious where the girl resides and grief resides, it's best to not be alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment