A nightmare. Stirring in the night, disorientated, fearful, states of being overlapping, one thing, another, consciousness swimming between places, spaces, melting and moulding, there are no limits, no borders; am I still dreaming, am I awake? Is the horrible figure there or not? Is it real or not? Not moving but listening. A strange sound in the pulsing dead night darkness, that middle of the night heaviness and stillness, out of timeness, but there is a sound. The cat, I remember in relief, but lifting my head very slightly, see the small, dark figure of her still curled around my legs; so it wasn’t her. I close my eyes, try to drift back into sleep but a wet sound repeats in the dark, a small but real sound, here in the room, not far away. With the awful figure still floating after me, around me, the image of it still so vivid, so present, locked in on me, reaching for me, that awful long, long wispy white hair, creeping, rough and alive, I dare once more to open my eyes and look around, dream-consciousness still heavy in me and seeping in, two realities at once, and peering into the shadows of the sleeping room, I realize it is her after all. She is washing and swallowing, making what seemed such a strange, disturbing noise in the intense night-quiet, in the aftermath of horror, but now it settles into the reality of cat and everything slips into place.
Well, sort of. I’m still enwrapped in the nightmare, it is connected to me, it still tugs at me, hasn’t finished with me yet and for all I know the sounds were the cat, there is a part of me that isn’t totally convinced, not sure there wasn’t, isn’t, something else there too. But I’m tired, my eyes close, images rise, drag me back. It’s only the story, the old woman from the story I reassure myself, too much of a coincidence, and it most likely is, that is all it is, but then the echoes of the article about soldiers wearing certain night-vision goggles and seeing demons everywhere remains and I’m not so sure. Nothing is certain, nothing is set, we move virtually blind in this fluid game we inhabit. Everything is shifting now, weird energy is everywhere and nothing feels so solid any more. We are not what we believe we are and there are movements in flow, breaks in ‘reality’, glitches in the game and holes where other realities, dimensions, leak in and out. So maybe the haunting figure is real, maybe it really does follow me, but I can only see it in my dreams. Maybe she is here now, looming over my shoulder. Many, many times the cats suddenly stop and stare at something I cannot see, but they are so obviously looking at something, their gaze focused on a particular spot, something is holding their attention, they follow it. Sometimes it even wakes them from sleep to lock dead on something invisible to me. That’s why I have always liked having cats around. Not only are they great companions, good friends, spiritual beings, they are in-between creatures, I believe, with an awareness of more than this ‘reality’, this layer we inhabit. So they are protectors, guardians, they warn against unwelcome presences, they warn when something is not right, even forcing it to retreat.
I fall asleep and immediately that other world takes me once again, into mad visions of otherness and odd but familiar places, of a dreamscape that lies outside this ‘reality’, but is known to me in that state. The places are not somewhere from this world, but I know them nevertheless, from being there many times before, in the dream reality, in that other life that waits once consciousness slips its bearings, its imposed limits and drifts free.
So I keep an ever open mind, anything is possible in a world full of strangeness. We know so little, only knowing how little we know; the more you know, the more you realize how little you know. Was it simply a nightmare, but which is the nightmare? Can we be so certain which reality is ‘real’, what IS real, whether we are asleep or awake? Dreams within dreams, deceptions within deceptions, realities within realities, but we are who we are, it’s our consciousness that counts; that exists beyond the ‘game’, connecting to all and everything.
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