The images are so vivid but I can’t figure out how I can be in so many different places at the same time. I cannot escape nor do I feel compelled to do so. I am in the moment, but one minute the moment seems suspended while the next it is rambling incomprehensibly through a time continuum. I am overcome with a need to follow a beckoning unseen hand that tenderly directs my immediate attention elsewhere. Farther and farther away I drift away like I am actually walking on the open lake…
It’s after noon. The steady groan of creaky hammock hooks seems to mimic the sound of the passing motorboat’s wake whose waves gently break against the rocky shore, seemingly in time with the swinging hammock. I am suddenly younger me. My tongue is enveloping an ice cream cone without haste but also with swift defensiveness to catch the melting drops before the dog does.
It’s evening. The putt-putt of the small watercraft drifts farther and farther away and another of my selves is reassured by the evensong of a distant train whistle pinpointing its path through the Land o’ Lakes. I lay nearly naked on top of my sheets – impossible to coax a breeze tonight.
Time is going backwards and it’s dusk. I am suddenly back on the dock disappointed by the fish that just literally just jumped off my hook making its escape before I can summon a witness. The plaintiff cry of a not-so-far away loon suggests its commiseration with me and my disappointment but is in stark contrast to the shrill laughter of the small children playing in the water directly across the bay, their shrieks bouncing off the shore and tree line as it becomes mid afternoon all of a sudden. How can I be playing in the water across the bay in daylight when I am here lying on the dock watching the meteors streak across the night sky?
It doesn’t matter.
It’s late afternoon. My old self is now smirking at my teenage self up on the dock stocking the cooler with clanging and clattering bottles of cold beer. “You used to drink cold beer”, my hazy mind teases but doesn’t mind the memory now of refreshing fermented barley relieving a parched throat and summertime thirst.
I am once again back to my young self trying to catch fireflies in my mother’s mason jar before she discovers it missing from her pickling supplies. I know this Tinkerbell Convention will be convened before I can say, “All children, except one, grow up.”
I am moving farther and farther away from these sights and sounds, and deeper into another layer of my mind. The corn stalks tower over me as I run, playing hide and seek with my siblings. I prepare for our father’s disappointment when I produce my meagre U-Pick harvest compared to his overflowing bushel. I am an impatient amateur in this realm and I want to leap up and seize the imagery but my self-of-altered-state cautions me against it. I am subliminally mentored to just “be”. Somehow it doesn’t freak me out that all these me’s are all over the place.
I am suddenly my grown up self again at evening yoga class, and am being gently drawn out of savasana by the instructor. Her voice is soft, wispy and slightly high-pitched, but persistent nevertheless in beckoning the class back to the present. Because of that unrelenting voice and gently shaking, slowly but reluctantly, my subconscious meets my conscious. All too quickly I come face to face with the imminent new existential question: “What’s for dinner, Mom?”