What can I say? We are heavy sleepers. The tinkle of a glass ornament as it drops off the tree, the crackle of a tray of ice cubes, the scraping of soot in the chimbley — these things don’t wake us from our slumber. Our dreams are far too captivating to succumb to such distractions.
I remember mine that night. It began with the sound of footsteps trudging through the snow, a loud staccato crunch. It was so loud, I covered my ears. But then I realized I had no ears. I was, in fact, the footsteps — or rather, the boots marching through the snow.
And then it stopped. All went silent and white. The smell of snow was overpowering. I felt light and airy, like I was inhaling a long, intoxicating breath of the freshest air. Everything was so white. And it was so quiet, I didn’t realize right away that I’d been falling through the air beside enormous structures of crystalline ice. I was a snowflake.
I fell toward a horse pulling a cart. And naturally, I became the horse, huffing in the winter air, feeling the strength of my body as I trotted along. I became the cart, creaking under a load of timber. I became the wheels of the cart, meeting the road with my never ending surfaces. I rolled over the earth, became the stones, the gravel, the dirt. I rumbled with the vibrations of each speck of dust, each grain of sand and grit. And then I fell through a funnel of an hourglass and landed amongst my family and neighbors in the town square.
We were all specks of dirt at first, but our faces materialized over a span of long minutes and hours. And then we told our stories.
The communal dream happens every night. But it seldom has the same clarity it had that night. Everyone arrived having journeyed from earth to sky and back again. Emily Sue had been a flash of lightning, a lily pad, a crocodile and a rainbow. Lulu had been an oaktree, an acorn, and a crow. Uncle Stu had been the fog, the mist of waves crashing on rocks, a gull, and a green hermit.
We all had achieved the Who ideal. We had lost ourselves amongst the grains of creation.
When we woke up the next morning, just a few nails and wires remained on the walls of our homes. There was so much space, so much emptiness. It was miraculous. Having dreamt about everything, to wake up to nothing thrilled us.
We leapt from our beds and convened at the town square. There was nothing left to do but to grab the hands of our children and siblings and parents and sing. “Fah who forays! Dah who dorays! . . . “