a beautiful mind

When I was a child, she told me about a dream she had the night before. The details of her dream I have trouble remembering but the manner in which she told the story I’ve never forgot. And recanting the tale years later, as an adult, invoked a reaction that I had never expected.

The pendulum swings back and forth.

To truly understand what goes on in the depths of a beautiful mind can leave one questioning their own sanity, struggling to distinguish the line between what is real and what isn’t. It’s a cyclical mental warfare that I still struggle with daily but I have yet to cross that line and hope I never do.

With every year that passes and through every life experience, she falls deeper into herself. Although I haven’t always understood the complexity, I’ve always known that she keeps her mind in an alternate reality where the lies become truth.

The death of her grandmother was devastating for her, but she did not grieve as if it were. In fact, the dream she had years after grandma’s death is the first time I can remember any conversation about it. As I mentioned, the details are fuzzy, but as she spoke I saw her transcend into the depths within her beautiful mind. This dream brought her back to her childhood where she begged grandma not to leave, but knew it was inevitable. Standing there all alone with a box in her arms, she opened the flaps and released hundreds of monarchs. As they flew up toward heaven, she knew that this was grandma’s final goodbye.

As I’m writing this now, it’s become quite clear to me that watching her become engulfed in that moment, as she was telling me of her dream, was the first time I was consciously aware of it happening. While the dream is an incredible visual tale, witnessing the eclipse of her mind is what made it memorable for me.

“The knowing, I told myself, is only a vapor of the mind, and yet it can wreck havoc with one’s sanity.”
– Diane Ackerman

She doesn’t remember the dream.

Now, I’ve only ever seen her break down and cry (of sadness) twice in my life. One of which was the day I reminded her of this dream she told me about years before. A Stream of tears just poured down her cheeks and I asked if she was ok. Chuckling, she says, “yeah”.

I have gaps in my memory. Huge gaps. I know there’s a lot that I’ve buried. Yet, somehow it always seems to surface in the subconscious. Despite how desperately I fight to prove I’m not like her, I grew up learning about life from her so there are inevitable similarities between us… including the graves we dig to hide the hurt.

Watching her cry, I saw her touch reality and for a few brief moments I felt a relief of this perpetual tension that I carry, I suppose it’s the proverbial weight of the world on my shoulders.

a beautiful mind
20Wx24H.in, acrylic, oil, gesso, collage on canvas board.

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