This past week, I dreamt. I had a cold and so I had difficulty sleeping. Thanks to the invention of modern medicine, I was able to force my body to sleep, when it so desperately needed rest. But my brain had a hard time with this idea of rest. So, instead of peacefully slipping into oblivion or happy places, I spent three nights awash in disturbing images.
A monster rises out of the sands.
As I slip between the coarse grains,
sinking lower, losing my footing,
It towers over me; passing its hungry eyes across me.
Resting on the eyes of my dead friend beside me.
It eats her instead.
Many of my parishioners are going out to hike in Woodbine.
They set out, one by one, leaving past the laundry building to go explore the swamp.
My sister leaves, and I wait by the door to watch her go.
As I turn back into the house, from the other direction I see the sky has grown angry.
Clouds are rushing in and forming deep dark caverns.
As I check my window, to see what is coming, I glimpse a tornado rushing for me.
I run to the back of the house, but there is nowhere to hide.
The tornado finds me and…
I wake up. Frozen in terror. I literally cannot move. I am so stuck in my solid corpse pose that I must fully awaken to pry my hands apart. What did I do to deserve these images? Clearly affected by my drugs.
A later night, I am alone in my house. I cannot fall asleep because I am thinking of the things that are coming to steal me away. Clearly, paranoia is overtaking me, even though I know nothing will happen. Will nothing happen? What is that? Why can I not hear anything? If I scream who will hear me? If they hear me, will they come?
Eventually, I rest. I become better. I am able to slip peacefully into sleep, until the next night when I cannot sleep because I have foolishly been drinking green tea too close to bedtime. Tossing and turning in the midst of a caffeine stimulated alertness. More annoyed at myself for not preparing for bed than actually being tired. Knowing that I have a full day and week ahead of me, and that sleep would have been a good idea about right now.
When will I get rest? Real rest? Rest that fill me with energy and lets me come to meet you with grace. Until that time, let me meet you with grace anyway. So that when we come together in the end we are ready for anything. Even if there are monsters.