I've awoken from a deep sleep and a bad dream.
I can't shake it off.
When I went to bed last night, I had already decided on what I would write this morning. But I can't write it. The feeling of dread from my dream makes it impossible to write of anything else. I don't often have bad dreams. I don't often wake with a sense of terror. That is not to say that I don't, sometimes, rise into a day filled with uncertainties and anxieties - in fact, that's typical. But this was different. A dream that wouldn't, like most, slip away from my mind.
In my dreams, these days, I am the 'now' me. It's been a couple years since I've walked in my dreams. My dreams now have me riding along in my wheelchair, moving in dreams as I move in life. But my dreams are never about the wheelchair and never really about my disability at all. As anyone with a disability knows, there are terrors much more frightening than dealing with life in a wheelchair. This might surprise those who walk, who seem oddly and frightfully attached to one particular form of of locomotion, even though they spent incredible amounts of time on wheels: in cars, on bicycles, on buses. The mere idea of sitting down to get around, a nightmare to others, is simply ordinary fare to me.
My nightmares are always about the behaviour of others. Others with power. Others with hateful agendas. I do not wish to get into the specificity of this dream here. First, the dreams of others bore me and I can't imagine that mine are any more interesting. Second, I'm still to troubled by it to take the chance of giving it life by giving it words. But, what strikes me, as I think about it, is how terrifying 'others' can be. How 'power' in the hands of 'others' is, ultimately, the most terrifying thing we face, as humans.
I go to work today, with a nightmare, curdling in my stomach.
And I wonder if last night someone, anyone, dreamed of me. I wonder if they woke with fear, terrified how I might use and misuse the power I have in their lives. Is someone I supervise sweating about a meeting today? Is someone with a disability worried that I might, because of a bad sleep, be harsh in my judgements today? Is someone somewhere fearful of me?
I had a nightmare about the power of another. Maybe that's because I still lack the courage to have a nightmare about the power I have myself.