Vignettes of Ruin and...

Dormis, Somnia & Obscura (the Sisters of Sleep)

In The Nightmare on February 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Dormis. Somnia. Obscura. Grant me restful and restorative sleep so that I may comfortably inhabit this body when I wake, amen.

And then it happens. I cease to exist in the physical world. I don’t even recall leaving it. But the bonds of flesh and bone have been transcended and I am carried, weightless, on the back of a black bottomless ocean. I am not cold or hot. My desires do not exist here, so I am at peace. I can breathe without burden. Everything I have ever known has ceased to be, and I have never felt more free.

The greatest gift Dormis can grant us is a dreamless sleep.

All Dormis requires in exchange, is that we submit to her world every night, for a few hours. When she calls us and wraps herself around our limbs, making them heavy, we should obey and give up the fight to stay open-eyed. When she passes her dry hands over our eye-lids, we do not make ourselves a cup of coffee and defy her, just so we can stay up all night watching films and playing games and even reading books.

Otherwise, she will banish us. This happened to me several times before. When I tried to return, she sent her sister, Somnia, to bar my path. She kept jolting me awake. When I tried to relax, she sent shots of nerves through me. Then she would not even let me close my eyes. I watched a starry night turn into a cloudless blue sky and back again. I watched the shadows of trees across the drawn curtains, their naked branches like fingers reaching through an invisible divide, beckoning. I lay there, growing more and more frustrated. If I knew which door to take, I would take it!

Dormis, Somnia, let me in, let me in, LET ME IN!!

And equally, when it is time to leave the realm of Dormis, we should not out-stay our welcome. Others must be allowed to take their turn, as the veil of night falls across the face of the Earth.

Otherwise, we stand to face the final sister, Obscura, and her wolves. I, for one, know the fear in being chased by them. When I run upstairs and end up downstairs, when I turn a door handle only to have it close instead of open, when I think I am awake in my mother’s house but I am really fighting the blankets in my lover’s bed, that is Obscura and her pack. They descend upon me in a storm of terror, driving me into the fringes of dream, where the life I have lived has been shredded and pasted back together, but in the wrong way. I recognise it but it no longer makes sense. Suddenly I am in my grandfather’s home, standing on the dark and dusty landing where the eyes of my ancestors coldly regard me from their Victorian frames. I call out but I know there is no one there and then the stairs give way and I am suspended in space. Above me, the world splits and crumbles. Then gravity pulls me and all the debris of conscious downward, at hyper speed. I feel like I might die after all- there is no way out that I can find-

Dormis, Somnia and Obscura are screaming: get out, get out, GET OUT!

And I am gasping, awake. Like taking my first breath, I have a second chance, I am reborn. The nightmare has reminded me I am alive!

And I cannot wait to sleep again.

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  1. The only thing I look forward to lately, is going to sleep. To at once be taken away from the world and the suffering…to just be free for a moment. It feels so good to just let your mind plunge into the darkness of nothing, without fear.

  2. yeah i feel that way so much lately I keep trying to go back asleep even though I’m not tired, it’s giving me brain rot!

  3. I would love to go asleep more often but Somnia keeps playing with my mind. I gotta say i love my life and i don’t use my dreams as a scape pod but i need to dream and to get out of this awaken existence everyday and i wait for it anxiously. There was a time when o was afraid to fall asleep but i got over this. Thank of another amazing post. You should write books. You got this gift.

  4. I’ve been reading your posts for a bit, have a lot of sensitive information … I liked this a lot .. I felt identified with the theme of sleep and dream .. restful sleep is when the day becomes aggressive … I give value to what we dream … I always say they do not make assumptions through them, but I can not .. I always believe that dreams tell me things that maybe can not see…

  5. Outstanding piece of work,why cant the dreamworld mirror the real world,the dreamworld is where we should be.I think I know the house you talk about it gives me nighmares too.

  6. well, I like to think we can colour our own lives with dreaming from time to time. sometimes in the real world, especially when confronted with some awe- inspiring force in nature, like the sea, or a ruined building that once was glorious, I feel like I’m dreaming.

  7. Christmas short stories best seller,truely a great writer.

  8. You should use the painting of the sisters of sleep as your icon.

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