For a short while last night, trapped between sleep and waking, I could not remember where I was, and for a few moments I also could not remember who I was. From there I fell into a series of fast, detailed dreams about being back in school—all grades simultaneously, from first through graduate alike—and passing by in-crowds of each with every person in them still signaling in all the ways common to such gangs that I did not—and would not ever—belong there.
So this is what it feels like to return to myself, I thought, deeply unsettled but unafraid. To stand on the foundation of my being sans identity. There was an inexplicable emptying of the busy, frantic world, an opening up on spaces of wonder unmet heretofore, and I felt the pace of my own stranger soul being honored. And trusted. And, too, for the first time ever and without effort or forethought or planning on my part? Known.
And then the small dog who has kept steady company alongside me these last eight years shifted, roused, and raised his head to check on my wellbeing, and I instantly remembered—first, where I was, and next, who I was, and then the familiar settled back in as a warm blanket swathes a chilled body on a cold night far from home.
Hours on, I awoke to a sunlit morning feeling more refreshed than I can remember ever having done. A deep sense of being only a being still abides, even now, far from sleep, and I have an unshakeable knowing of an essence always present in my self, but never before encountered in quite so literal a manner. The emptying remains. I cannot describe in words how comforting this is. There is a whole universe that partakes not of our hope|fear-entangled selves, and we do not exist merely in or of it: we are it. The one of all that is.