10th June 2017

I have been having lots of dreams recently, memorable dreams, the kind that linger in the mind for days afterwards in scrappy little fragments, which appear like old memories at unexpected times. All of my dreams have involved death in some form, death must be on my mind. In one dream, my cat was killed. I don’t know how it happened and neither could I do anything about it, though in the dream I ran and ran searching for someone to help me. In another I was lying on a beach and there were people lying either side of me. We were sleeping, or had been sleeping. Some other people appeared: two men whose faces were obscured and whose bodies were encased in plastic, like the plastic they wrap bodies in on TV crime dramas. One of the men leant down over the person lying to my left and reached into their abdomen and started to pull things out, softly. I turned to my right as the other man leant over the woman lying there. As he reached into her abdomen, she woke. Her hair was curled and dark and her face was slender with pronounced cheekbones and a sharp, slender nose and she was beautiful in a 1930s kind of way. The man removed his hand from her abdomen and reached instead into her chest cavity; I knew, somehow, he was going to take her heart but his every movement was gentle, tender and loving, and as he reached deep inside her she opened her mouth, gasped, but quietly and in a way which was more erotic than pained. The man leaned over, his hand deep in her chest, and whispered into her questioning face, “don’t worry, you are learning how to die,” and there was something reassuring about the way he spoke as though it was true, he was merely a teacher and she was learning something which we all must all learn and what he was doing was not something violent or irrevocable, not motivated by anger or a desire to destroy, but a loving act performed with care. I woke then, but the dream, the vision of the woman in all her beauty, and the man’s words lingered in my mind. It is true, I thought, we are all learning how to die though those who could teach us, with the generous loving care displayed in my dream, are in terribly short supply and in made me sad in a way that death itself never could.

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