Last night I had a dream that one of my teeth feel out. Then, as happens in many of my dreams, another tooth fell out. Then, of course, another. But, unlike my other toothless dreams, these teeth were particularly big–twice the size of your average molar. And they came out with the roots attached, so I was left with gaping holes in my gums. I went to the dentist to get a bridge, or maybe some dentures, but they only gave me a toothbrush (it was pretty fancy–silver, I think–but still just a toothbrush). That, of course, did me no good as by this point I had only three or four teeth left.
So the hygenist told me that I’d need a jaw replacement–which I couldn’t afford. So I walked around toothles and jawless.
A few nights ago, I woke up in a panic, thinking I was having a heart attack. My left arm ached and I thought that if I didn’t move, I could avoid the worst. As it turns out, I was lying on my arm and when I was finally awake enough to realize what was going on I heard a voice echoing from my dream state, saying plaingly, loudly:
You are living your entire life right now.
It’s a thought that’s been looming over me in unarticulate ways lately, something I’ve been thinking about without being conscious of (It’s possible.). It’s very zen, when you think about it. That we really are living our entire lives right now, that everything that is present to us is a part of everything that has ever existed to us. The condensed soup approach to life, maybe. That everything is compacted, so tightly entertwined that we cannot pull even the tiniest piece off to examine it.
The visual that comes to mind here is a blender. You know how dough gets all clumped to the beaters when all the liquid gets absorbed and if you keep the blender on, the dough just spins and spins in a clumsy lump? That’s what it looks like to live your entire life right now. Or, at least, that’s how I imagine it. And to reach in, to try to grab ahold of a bit of dough is nearly impossible because, of course, the beaters are still twirling round and round and if you stick your fingers in there well, who knows what could happen. Chances are things would get messy–and likely pretty painful.
So rather than picking it all apart, rather than even pulling one piece off and causing possible damage to the whole works, it all goes round and round, moving in the same direction, shifting in density and form at indiscernible rates, really not in the control of anyone or anything. (Well, except for the blender, but, for the purposes of this metaphor, let’s just say we don’t know where the switch is and the plug is out of our reach.)
I couldn’t control the rate at which my teeth fell out of my mouth. I can’t control the metaphorical blender. I can’t control the fact that this, right now, is my entire life.
Do I like that?
No, not particularly.
Will I learn to deal with it?
Guess I have to.