A Time Before Knowing
I read a book about the importance of dreams and coincidence last week.
Later I had a nightmare about my toddler falling underneath an escalator. I wrote the dream down but couldn't decode its symbolism, and the whole thing made me uncomfortable, so I pushed it out of my mind.
Then on Saturday, I heard a song about escalators playing in the kids' section of the library.
A song about escalators. On a children's CD. What the fuck, universe?
Perhaps it’s confirmation bias. But it's creepy nevertheless. You could say that the escalator represents life's ups and downs. And my son, underneath it, represents the inevitable hurts those ups and downs will bring.
What am I supposed to do with that information?
I dreamed about my memoir, too, later that week. In the dream, I'd hired a man to help me with genealogical research. He called to say he'd unearthed some photographs of my grandmother and great-grandmother. When I heard the news, I felt a deep sense of foreboding. There was evil in those photographs, I knew. If I looked at them, the images would remain burned in my mind forever. I could never go back to a time before knowing.
"It's your choice," said the man.
In the dream, I chose not to look. In life, I forge ahead.
I have a stack of official documents on my desk, ready to mail to the Department of Health. I'm hoping it will be my ticket to records about my grandmother's institutionalization in the 1950s. It's taken me months to get to this point, and it will likely be months before I receive the medical records—if I receive them at all.
And if I do ... what am I supposed to do with that information?
I have too many questions and not enough answers.