I woke up at 3:00 am just long enough to crane my neck towards the clock. I fell right back to sleep until nearly 6. I woke from a dream and the intensity of it was great. It began to fade immediately and by the time I was up and making the bed it was gone completely. The feeling lingered but the detail evaporated into thin air.
Yesterday I learned about the move of a long ago friend in the neighborhood I grew up in. A friend’s mom was moved into a group home for both care and safety. Alzheimers (and dementia) is a thief and creates a confusion for which there is no good remedy. It struck me, as I sat here this morning, how that loss of meaningful memory may fade into nothingness just as dreams do.
Does something linger? Are those memories lost forever or are they delivered to a vault in the mind for safe-keeping? Can a reminiscence escape the locked chamber? Or are they tucked away forever, never to appear as beams of light or sensation? Never to be evoked again by smell or touch or story?
I consider my understanding of impermanence:
Nothing lasts. There is only change and decay. Birth and death, re-birth and re-death. Nothing on this earthly plane remains the same. Nothing lasts forever.
Here it is in pictures:
“There is a time for departure even when there is no certain place to go”
Thinking about dream and memory always leads leads me straight down the rabbit-hole of loss. Why is it, I wonder, that those things we most want to hang onto are the first ones that leave and the the things we most want to let go of, linger?
Loss isn’t always sudden and unexpected. Sometimes it can come as a surprise. Sometimes we find ourselves left standing out in the wide open. And sometimes we step into that void by choice. We can’t always map out what the space left by loss will look like. But rest assured, it’s always about to change. The sooner we make peace with all the ways change and memory and loss can alter our lives, the stronger we will find ourselves in the moments.
Joy, loss, change, regret.
Repeat for infinity …
We are a part of this cycle that is life. Sometimes loss prepares us for something different, something new. Loss is also clearance, making space for new things to emerge. Richer things.
Here then is my prayer for today:
Occupy the space you occupy.