Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Death-in-life experiences

A long time ago, during a period of transition in my life, I had a dream that I was lying in the woods in a pile of leaves, dissolving. It felt delicious, almost orgasmic. I was becoming part of the forest, losing all the pain and sorrow I'd been preoccupied with at the time. But the dissolving stopped somewhere near the back of my neck, perhaps where the "lizard brain" resides, the basic instincts. So, I lived. I woke up and continued. But I did not forget the wonderful experience of almost non-existing. About seven years before that dream, I had had an accident on a Massachusetts highway, spinning around uncontrollably in a borrowed Volkswagen after vainly trying to correct a skid on slippery snow. I was a new driver, but cars all around me were wrecking that night. My vehicle went ass-end into a ditch, breaking its rear axle. Just before the spin ended, my mind said to itself quite cheerfully, "Well, here we go!" These are my near-death experiences, and I kind of like them. A few days ago, a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen for ages turned up at a gathering and mentioned that she'd been having death dreams. The people in the dreams who were dying were herself in another guise or persona. In the dream, disappearing was just fine, no problem, but when she woke up, she was distressed. I think she should have been glad. It's a privilege to be able to imagine or even experience some kind of death before the actual one occurs. So many things that begin in life, end. Whole "lifestyles" can come crashing down. Rehearsal is good. I don't know what my next death will be like, but I'm not afraid to find out. Not much, anyway.