The prompt for this one was “nature’s tranquilizer.” This is where it led.
I had one of those nights when I thought I couldn’t sleep, when I thought my mind was turning over and over again a tired thought, a hazy dream, and then I rolled over, mumbling and wondering why I couldn’t rest, and I glanced at the clock and realized I’d been asleep for hours. I turned on my white noise machine, a silly device that allows me to project an artificial recording, my choice of one of nature’s tranquilizers: ocean waves, babbling brook, steady rain drops. I chose “woodland,” a collection of bird song and cricket chirp on a loop, the monotony of which is sometimes helpful. I used to picture a time a few decades ago when he and I lay on a blanket under a tree after swimming in the river, a rare day without drama. But I have grown past the need to placate my psyche with cheerful memories. To calm myself I close my eyes and think only of my ear canals receiving the vibrations of the white noise-sh, sh, sh.
I have been dreaming lately of the dead. I dream of my mother, how she’s waiting in the car for me outside, so sure I will join her soon that she keeps the engine running. I dream of Craig in a hospital having surgery and I think I must go with some fruit or flowers or a liter of his favorite cherry cola, and then I remember he never made it to the hospital; he was dead when the ambulance arrived. I dream of my acupuncturist and how I want to tell her good-bye. I want to thank her for all she has done for me for two and a half decades. But in the dream, I don’t say anything because I’m afraid it will upset her if I tell her she is dead.
I want to learn how to forgive but that scares me too. If I let go of the last bits of resentment and self-pity will there be nothing left, no ballast to hold me to the ground? Will I simply let go, will I drop this heavy frame and float away? I hear it can be nice on the other side, but am I ready? I do hope that if I release my mortals and my venials that I will discover the barriers are down. I will suddenly accomplish things I never thought possible. Can I be of service? Can I learn to be a healer? I hear my pen scratching scratching scratching on the page, white noise soothing tranquilizing nurturing.