I was thinking about the nature of dreams. For me dreams sprout from nowhere, sometimes from an ideal or a desire, sometimes from a need, sometimes from an experience, sometimes as part of my evolution..
I let my garden grow wild with dreams. My garden does not have trimmed hedges, rows of pretty plants or a flower or two peeping up from neat flower beds. It has gnarly black trees that are entwined by exotic creepers, fronds of surreal purple leaves hanging overhead, foliage that reminds me of childhood needs, thickets overgrown with passion, untended wild vegetation, thorny flowers smelling sweeter than love, bizarre and myriad-hued poisonous berries, and roots that grip the very centre of my being like the clenched sinews of a corpse.
This untended garden suited my needs. I could hide myself in the overgrowth. I could meditate seated on wild reeds, while the creepers clambered slowly onto my limbs. I could let the smell of broken leaves and the sounds of twisted twigs fill my senses. I could watch mutilated trees fall over, tearing themselves off from their very roots, away from my being. I could hack some dreams, let others fall over me, walk in their midst all day, get lost in one part of them and be found in another.
So grew my dreams. They were and are a part of me.
A day arose when the shadow of a spirit in the woods fell on my garden. What began as a blessing turned into a curse. A bed of dream roses began blooming in a delusive frenzy. Day after day they grew to enormous sizes. “The multifoliate roses” I called them, after something else that had inspired me. The roses were the color of blood red beetroots. Their petals were thick as leathery lettuce leaves. Their epicentres had an abyss each that led into unexplored darkness. The dew drops that grew on the roses smelled and tasted like tears. The roses were fed on blood.
They overshadowed all the other dreamlets. The toadstool dreams got crushed underneath the gigantic and heaving heads of the multifoliate roses. The creeper dreams moved out of the way not wanting to die. The gnarly tree dreams sustained the roses by giving them shade and comfort. What did these roses want? They were meaningless, ruthless and cruelly beautiful. They began choking every other dream out of me. I was in a daze. The roses were like the zahir. I could not forget them day or night, knowing fully well that they were eating into me. I too was eating into them. I did not have the space or the capacity to let them grow riotously. They choked me. I choked them in turn. The battle between the roses and me grew to epic proportions within me.
I wanted to counter these roses. They were growing on love and eating into love and returned the favours by crushing out tiny harmless dreams. I did not like them any more. I wanted them to leave me be. Wild as it might be, my garden had no place for lies and hatred. That was when I sowed a tiny seed to counter their growth. A venomous seed of betrayal. The roses were betraying me all the time with their cruel meaningless beauty. Their uncertainty, enormity and spiteful manner of destroying me and all that was me. Yes I had let them grow believing they would turn out to be as harmless as the other little dreams that inhabited my garden. Yet they had grown into something grotesque, gargantuan and macabre. The seed of betrayal that I had planted with great reluctance and self-hatred undermined the roots of these roses and killed them in a day. The roses were only watered by lies and delusions. So they went flimflam and disappeared in a thousand fragments. Like every being that misses pain after it leaves, I too missed the roses and their cruelty. I tried sowing them over and over again. They refused to be reborn. My solitary masochism ended.
I woke up one morning to find my garden filled with the most predictable peace. Chaos had settled into a contented sleep because chaos was loved. The gnarled trees did not want to strangle me any more. They had reclined into a watery stillness like gnarly old men without their dentures. They grinned toothlessly and felt like home.
The toadstools had been occupied by elves and faeries overnight. Their laughter filled the chaos. This was most predictable as well.
Then it becomes a day at work, a giggle, an ordinary strand of hair in the eye, a vehicle horn, a cloud, a fleeting fear, an open window, a word, cashews, redness…………..
I cannot separate myself from what is happening in my garden and write about it as if it were happening over there beyond the hills where Jack and Jill went for a pail of water.
When dreams are unfulfilled you see them, you sigh, you realize emptiness, you distance yourself from what you do not possess and you write.
When your dreams come true, it becomes life. You live.
I am living.