Monday, March 31, 2008

Dream of My Mother Shopping

I haven't been using this blog as a personal journal, but that's what this entry will be, because the main thing on my mind this weekend (besides the assembly of porch furniture) has been a dream I had Friday night.

I'm in a the central business district of a small town. The town is surrounded by pristine mountains and fields, and all the buildings are either new or perfectly restored. In fact, I don't see any power or phone lines, and the seeming newness of the buildings combined with the lack of modern clutter makes me think that perhaps I've somehow entered the early 20th century. There is no vehicular traffic; the streets are closed off for some sort of parade or celebration, and in fact are teeming with people wandering about.

I follow the flow of people through the streets and run into my mother; she's walking arm in arm with a much younger friend I've never seen before. The friend appears to be about my age, and for a moment I'm jealous and feel somewhat replaced. "What are you doing here?" I ask. "I didn't expect to see you." My mother replies that she's doing well, and tells me that I really should get myself some pants that fit me. This is how I know it really is my mother. Literally on her deathbed she complained that I never buy pants that fit me correctly.

I tell her I've been worried about her and want to know how she's doing. Even as I'm dreaming I'm not clear whether or not the me in the dream knows that my mother is dead, and so part of the dream is watching the me in the dream interact with my mother, wondering whether or not I know she's dead. "I'm fine where I am," she tells me. "Don't worry about me." I ask her where she's been living, and she points vaguely down the street and says, "Really, we're both fine here. Don't worry about me, Elinor." We become separated from one another and I search the same few blocks for her over and over again, but she's gone and the dream ends.

She died almost a year ago, and this is the first time I've dreamed of her. I'm pretty certain I don't believe in an afterlife, so I'm pretty certain I was simply telling myself that what is, is, and that I'm the one who is doing fine. But if there is anything to the notion that loved one can reach out from beyond, I'm glad that she's in the world of her childhood, shopping.

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