What is real?
When I dream, I lie. I lie upon the bed and lie into my mind's eye. I lie on and on, dreaming the lies I can imagine while I sleep. I cannot stop lying. The lies pile up, on and on until I cannot remember how long I've lain or which lies are true . Sometimes lies can be true , like when you lie on your back under a blue sky, chosing clouds and lying about what they are. Picking clouds and lying to yourself about their shapes, finding in them lies of castles, princesses, pigs, goats, sheep, cars, houses, roads, god. If you lie long enough, you sleep and dream more lies about the lies you made up.
People lie to themselves every day. Lying in sleep, dreaming their puffed-up lies of their own self-importance. How long we can lie. I lied to myself for years, living a life of waking sleep, lying in my own lies. I could not admit the truth of my life; so I ran constantly from the truth. When I lie down, I dream in color; so as to confuse myself. The lies I dream are vivid, multi-dimensional, like Monday-night movies. Sometimes their vividness make me feel they might have actually happened. I remember seeing part of a movie once, what was it, that was about a man who had a wife and family (I think), but had horrible dreams of a terrible life. He couldn’t shake them. And one day (I don’t remember what happened because it’s foggy to me), the realization came that his “normal” family life, the life that was so wonderful and the life he loved so much, was all a dream, a lie he made up in his sleep. The movie didn’t really stick with me for some reason, but the idea did. It’s kind of compelling, since dreams can be such convincing lies. The only reason we realize we dreamed, at times, it because we wake, lying in our beds.
Some dreams are obvious lies. Sometimes I realize, even while I’m in the middle of the dream, that it’s just a dream. I can remember telling myself at times, “This is just a dream. I’m just dreaming.” I don’t know what made it so obvious, but it was. I knew I was dreaming even before I woke. I would keep in mind that I was only dreaming, lying comfy and cozy under my blanket in my own bed. I knew that soon I’d wake to my real life.
But what’s really real? Another compelling idea is that the entire word around is just a lie. A lie we make up every day and, for the most part, agree on as reality. So does that mean someone who is scizophrenic or autistic or something along that nature is not really mentally ill? Does that person just have another take on reality, a take that the rest of us don’t agree is real? What is normality? Is it just whatever we agree is “normal”? I don’t know; it’s all so confusing sometimes. Do we just make the whole thing up every day? Maybe when we die, we shake off all the “normalcy” and see reality in yet another way. Maybe all of our deceased relatives are just stilling at another table having Thanksgiving Dinner with a different kind of meat – no turkey or ham, just something called niffergeseen. I wonder.
Lies. Lies. Lies. Lie. Lies. Lies. Lies. So I’m about to lie down for my lie until my 3-year-old son wakes up from his nap. We used to sleep together and he’d cuddle up against me at naptime. I really liked that, and sometimes I miss it. But now I let him sleep alone. He’s getting so big and talking so much. Soon he’ll be off to college and making up dream-lies of his own. He probably already is – sometimes he wakes up crying, probably because of a nightmare.
Oh, and once again -- I'm not an artist . . . these are my words, but the drawing's not mine.