Week 4 of Quarantine: my alter ego is Rumplestiltskin

I might be cracking up. It might not be a bad thing.  

My dreams have been vivid since we've had to shelter in place.  This week, I had a string of those terrifying dreams where you're being chased, but you can't run.  You need help, but you can't scream.  You're being hurt, but you can't wake up. The dreams take you hostage, and you feel like a helpless mess.

I'm a little frightened to fall asleep lately.

Every night for the last 8 days, I've woken up at about 2 am, a victim to my unconscious mind's nightmares.  What's felt worse is that the dream state doesn't wear off for several hours.  I feel like I'm still bound up by something until about 4:30 am.

So this week, in the wee hours, I've left bed in a bizarre headspace to sit down at the piano to write.  To my surprise, writing has been effortless. But the "voice" that's writing the songs doesn't feel like mine.  The words don't sound like mine. And the stories that are pouring out onto paper are definitely not mine. 

Or are they?

Today I'm looking at my piano at the 9 songs that somebody wrote in the middle of the night. And apparently it was me. Though I feel like I can't claim them. It's as though my alter ego is Rumplestiltskin, coming into my house every night, but instead of turning straw into gold, he's turning out beautiful music. And I wake up in the morning and get to take credit.

(No I'm not taking any fun drugs).

Today, I'm sitting here trying to reflect on how this could be happening.  Here's my best guess.  

The subconscious mind holds more than we'll ever know; the conscious mind is such a terrific gatekeeper and doesn't often let us see our own secrets.  Something about my mind being "bound up" by dream state is making room for a deeper voice to come through.  The voice is so natural.  It's imperfect and more honest.

And I love it. Even if I am losing it.

Reader, these are bizarre times.  I don't know how they're transforming you.  But whether you're an artist or not, if you're sheltering in place, it's a great time to observe ourselves, since we have less interference.  Last week, I noticed my mind being free of distraction.  This week, I feel an emergence of something deeper. Who knows what next week will bring. Maybe I'll be levitating by then...

All this to say: let's not miss out on this rare opportunity in our lives to get know ourselves a little better.  We're a lot more interesting than we think, if we can learn not to think so much. See you next Monday. -Rumpstiltsk-Em

1 comment

  • Bob
    Bob Signal Hill
    We can’t wait to hear your new music! There is a lot that goes on inside our heads when we’re not looking. I think it’s elves. Tiny elves that walk in through our ears. In your case, they must bring in a piano with them. Clever elves.

    We can’t wait to hear your new music!
    There is a lot that goes on inside our heads when we’re not looking. I think it’s elves. Tiny elves that walk in through our ears.
    In your case, they must bring in a piano with them.
    Clever elves.

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