Saturday, September 7, 2013

sleep to dream.

my daughter dreams in loud, piercing segments. vivid color, fear and pain and abandonment. her good dreams are mild, something to mention over toast and juice, usually forgotten between the mattress and the floor. sometimes i think the bottom of her feet are littered with her peaceful thoughts and that is why she never has callouses. since she was a baby she has awoken at night in terror, as real as the hair on her head. and we soothe her and we give her tools to manage her fears so that her terrors at night do not spill over onto her skin during the day. so that she does not walk around the world bruised and battered by her own mind. we pinned a dream catcher above her head and told her that its web holds the tiny tentacles of bad thoughts so that she doesn't have to. that they disappear before she wakes up and turn into glitter. (she added that last part; it's a genius idea.) she and i both know the dream catcher doesn't work but it sure is nice to have something to tell yourself in the morning after a particularly exhausting night of sleep.


two nights ago, i was in an underwater boat with my husband. not quite a submarine. more like a boutique hotel in dubai, high rise and luxurious, completely submerged. the walls were glass and there were long tunnels where fish and plants floated around. we walked through them and marveled at the sheer grandiosity. so safe. like a cocoon. there was an anchor. above us. it was round, golden, lit up. a larger than life golden snitch. there was a creaking, loud, clanging and banging. the anchor shot around the boat like a mystical flail and crashed into the glass. the air was a vacuum, loud and silent at the same time. full and empty and i remember thinking i couldn't define the difference between a noun and a verb. and i thought about my children. and panicked. i knew they weren't there but i wasn't sure where they were. and i wondered what would happen to them now. i was sliding down, reaching for my husband's hand. he locked eyes with me, fingers outstretched. "DO NOT FALL ASLEEP," he screamed above the din of rushing water and i looked at him quizzically, thinking it was strange that he didn't tell me to hold my breath. my arms started to drift up. "WAKE UP! WAKE UP!"


the dream catcher in my room is small, attached to a key chain. and i wonder sometimes if it just plain does not have a big enough web to save my psyche from drowning.


  1. Wow.

    I think a family read of Roald Dahl's "The BFG" might be in order.

    Your language is stunning, Krista. I know the feelings are intense, but I was mesmerized --

  2. dream catchers are wondrous things. i'm sorry only that yours is too small.

    i love the idea of her uncalloused, peaceful feet.

  3. Her uncalloused feet, the glitter that absolutely must rain down on her upturned morning face...

    Your daughter is such a love.