And when we sleep,
Let us loose ourselves fully from the waking world–
Unbound from its mortal constraints,
Disentangled from conscious fears and notions.
Let the light not meet our shuttered brains,
That we may escape,
For as brief a spell as may be,
The illumination of our darker reaches,
Awakening within that shadowed space
To find it glow at light’s surrender.
Let our wanderings there be pure and unencumbered,
Unlike in those gossamer dreams,
So thin as to be transparent,
The kind that bend around us
As if to stand in for reality,
But in a way that is ineffectual and transient.
They recede almost as quickly as they appear,
And although they pretend at being
Specters of the imagination,
They contain much of the waking world in them.
They do not have the power to create,
Only to enhance,
Interpret for their own ends:
The room becomes a hall,
Thoughts of loved ones become people,
And traffic from the street outside
Adds color to the otherwise faded and fading quality
Of the realm that fights so halfheartedly to exist,
If only for the smallest and most insignificant of moments.
Let us drink deeply of that nether world,
That place of power lost and forgotten.
Let us linger there with hearts of wonder,
Seeking neither knowledge nor understanding,
But healing and acceptance.
Let us think little and feel much,
Interact with what is real within us
Rather than with the shadows of what we have experienced without.
And let us approach with awe
That subtle hum that lies at the core–
Become lost in its presence,
But on waking,
On waking let us journey slowly,
Release the world we have traveled in sleep
With the calm awareness that we need not cling to its memory,
For it is a part of us that can never be lost,
And even then not forever.
Let us carry with us that acceptance,
Into the world of the light.
Let them illuminate our waking lives
And stream out with a brilliance all their own.
Let us greet the day with passion,
Not longing for the place we left inside.
Let that boundary between those worlds,
So thick and strong while we were away,
Be permeated from beyond at the time of our return,
That the sensory realm,
So blinding and seductive,
Might be tempered in its perceived importance
By the hallowed presence with which we are filled.
Let us walk the world not as sleepers, though,
But as those who have truly slept.
Let us embrace our wakefulness
Not with reluctance,
As we might a hollow alternative to what lies within,
But with an outpouring of enthusiasm,
As a celebration of a world that is filled with other beings,
Each possessed of inner fire.
And let us hope,
That they, too, have known true sleep,
That they have escaped this place and returned
To share what they have dreamt,
To bring back some of that light
That thrives only in the inner blackness.
Let us return fulfilled and awakened,
That those who sleep with open eyes
Might see and close them,
Release the fear and fall into the dark,
To return once more themselves,
Perhaps one day to remind us
When we ourselves have forgotten how to sleep.