Monday, October 12, 2015
I dreamt of my father's shirt and I think it was the fog
Last night I had an unusual and moving dream. I dreamt I was in what was my mother's house, although like the sets of most dreams it did not look like any of the homes she had in her living life. In the dream, I was in a room where there were still items of my father's. I was alone. I was thinking in the dream how it must be hard to live with these reminders of him so fresh after his death [my father died in 2008 but in the dream last night we had just had dinner with him at a nice restaurant].
Then I came to a shirt on a hanger, hanging all by itself on the wall, almost as if displayed there like art. It was the shirt he had just worn nights before in the dream at our dinner. I held the shirt and cried, and as I caressed it it became very fluid, almost wrapping around me, or petting my head with the sleeve.
It has been seven years since I saw my father alive, and two and half since my mother died. While I do not weep about it any more, I think of them everyday. I still carry that quiet little sack full of inner feelings, sometimes sadness.
But the dream left me feeling rather melancholy this morning, ungrounded in some way. I sensed last night that Martyn was melancholy too-his father died a year ago, his mother was just placed in assisted living, his family is changing and evolving too in uncontrollable ways. We are in the stage of life where many people we've known all our lives are dead or soon to be gone. Elders who used to keep in touch through a parent or aunt are unable to do so-the family and circle of personal community begins to shrink. Things that seem to be rocks in one's life crumble-maybe a couple you thought would never part end up separated, or the teacher that gave you wings dies.
When each loss comes, another thread in our life's coat comes loose, tearing a should seam or pocket. That coat that kept you warm so many times, or dry from rain or snow has a life too, and an unravelling like any life.
Melancholy is different than grief. It is the younger sister to depression. I know a few people who are really battling depression, and I would never what to say or write anything that might diminish the agony they are in. Depression separates a person from the living world I think.Depression must be the opposite of home. Melancholy still has many glimmers of hope.
I always feel I will work through melancholy when it comes. And I always do. But, some days, I can get stuck in it. I guess I feel that pull today.
I am blessed to have a routine that requires me to get outside, no matter what, and interact with Nature in all forms. It helps melancholy to be sent to the backseat of the morning.
The fogs were here when I awoke. It was almost like my father's shirt had come out of the dream from last night, and become the fog-both a comfort but also a veil in front of me.