The Strangest Dream

My recent birthday had me haunted by a poem that I had written many years ago – before I met my husband, became a mom, and long before I had anything “figured out”.

The poem is a look back on one life’s journey through the eyes of a young pantomath. Yes, it’s a word.

Evidently, this poem is a depiction what my naive, twenty-something-year-old self presumed I would, one day, be contemplating as an old woman, after amassing a lifetime of wisdom.

I read this now with both hindsight and foresight, in awe of my intuitiveness and shaken by the following verse:

I think there’s some irony in my torment of not knowing
what I thought was my greatest struggle was that which kept me going

Perhaps I knew too much too soon.

“Ah, but I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.” – Bob Dylan

The Strangest Dream

I just awoke from the strangest dream
I scaled a black tunnel
and swam through a stream
darkness faded
all colors blended to white
I was on the other side
immersed by the light
All I could do
was let out a cry
as a room full of strangers
captured my eye

Dazed and confused
just short of a while
until my first lesson learned
was that of a smile
The tiniest wonders
I couldn’t bear to miss
growing more amazed by the minute
I guess ignorance is bliss

Starved for answers
they sent me to school
doused with more questions
would’ve been easier to remain a fool
But the teacher said
I was built with a mind
if I used it correctly
the solutions I’d find

So began my quest
and allowed my mind to feast
in time it became
this untamable beast
devouring knowledge
a reward I earned
even mistakes
became lessons learned

Touching other souls
which in turn shaped my own
without them
emotions would have remained unknown
They nourished me with joy,
sometimes fed me pain
but the ability to feel
that was my gain
I’ve traveled the world
in search of reason
completing more of the puzzle
with each change of season

I gave my children
the gift of life
I took a risk at love
and become a wife
I reached out
to the herds
and touched so many
with my words

I sit here now
my body old
reviewing my life
watching it again unfold
I wish I had the chance
to do it again
what’s so meaningless now
was so important back then
like working
all those extra hours
I should’ve used the time
to smell more flowers
I wasted weekdays
feeling stressed
and squandered weekends
catching up on rest
Who cares how many figures
my bank statement is now showing
it’s not coming with me
where I’m going
and why’d I pass up
all those desserts?
I have no need now
for those size 4 shirts
I look back on my twenty’s
all the men I could’ve had
what’s in an unblemished reputation now
I should’ve been bad
But, why waste my last precious moments
wondering what I should’ve done
what good are “could have beens”
under the final setting sun?

The curtains have drawn
it’s the end of the show
my final wish is for an encore
a little more time before I go
to again view the world
through a child’s innocent eyes
before I knew the answers,
before age made me wise
I think there’s some irony
in my torment of not knowing
what I thought was my greatest struggle
was that which kept me going

I now hold the reason
upon which my life was centered
I now must leave this world
the same way I had entered
The time has arrived
I hear them calling
I face another dark tunnel
through which I must start crawling
Off in the distance
I head for the gleam
I can now close my eyes
and awaken from this dream…….9/21/97