Silence

Via "Hush" -- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 4 Episode 10

can’t even shout
can’t even cry
the Gentlemen are coming by
looking in windows
knocking on doors
they need to take seven
and they might take yours
can’t call to mom
can’t say a word
you’re gonna die screaming
but you won’t be heard

It was a feeling I learned in my slumber long before I came to live it, as if my subconscious was preparing me for the trials I would soon face.

In my youth I ran barefooted, swam bare bottomed, sure as can be, a wild soul free of all fear. And in my dreams I swam through the skies, and breathed in the deep blue seas.

But as I grew, I would call out– and no sound would come.
I shouted and screamed and hollered, but I floated like a ghost through my own dreams, unheard, and ceasing to be seen, as consciousness pulled me back to reality.

By day the sensations were overwhelming, head ringing wired to explode, blood in my nose, vertigo, the lights were deafening… and by night, REM sleep would taunt me, my elusive prey, just out of reach.

This is a feeling that would become all too familiar as autoantibodies block nicotinic acetylcholine transmissions in my neuro-muscular system, severing the link between my mind and body, but at the time, I knew it only as silence.

Silence is not a fleeting moment, a fad, a fashion statement you wear for a night on the town. “Fools, said I, you do not know, silence like a cancer grows.”

In third grade, my school recommended speech therapy sessions. I was fine with pronunciation, but they felt I lacked volume control, and feared I could develop the nasty habit of speaking my mind.

I took a vow of silence in protest, didn’t speak a word for 3 days. They put me in the speech sessions anyway, and I spent most of my adolescent years being constantly reprimanded for speaking too loudly, and just all around speaking too much.

Since I was diagnosed with Myastenia Gravis, nobody has told me I’m too loud, or I speak too much. Now they tell me I’m too quiet, or that it couldn’t hurt to smile… and every time, I remind myself that MG is invisible, they cannot know the pain they are not aware of.

myastenia-gravis-awareness-ribbon
June is Myastenia Gravis Awareness Month

More often than not now, when I do manage to stutter out a few of the words trapped in my racing mind, nobody stops to listen, so I save my smiles for something worth the effort.

In my first year, as my condition rapidly deteriorated, and my friends and even my family could no longer recognize me… I fell into another bout of silence, and barely spoke a word for months.

I fantasized my way through childhood, read through grade school, and wrote through puberty. All the thoughts left unspoken and all my words left unheard, I found them there. Now once again, I have found my words– write where I left them.

This I owe in large part to George R.R. Martin for “A Song of Ice and Fire” and the world of wonders he has spun for me, the likes of which I have not known since I first discovered Joss Whedon with Firefly, Dollhouse, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Before high school and college taught me that there are bad books in this world, I fell in love with Cornelia Funke’s “Inkheart” trilogy, sailed away with Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Earthsea” trilogy, pondered mind and body and essence of being with Patricia K. McKillip’s “Riddle Master” trilogy, and smuggled off to infinity and beyond with my towel and “The Increasingly Misnamed Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy” by Douglas Adams.

Now I find myself caught between fact and fiction, in a world where the lines between the two are becoming increasingly irrelevant. In my passion for both logic and fantasy, I have found my words, in a plentiful bounty.

But the thing about silence– only the silent can hear it.
To utter its name, is to shatter its effect.

A peace spoken, is a silence broken.
…and thus concludes this moment of silence.

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Dreams of Daily Star-dom

I had all but forgotten about dreaming.

For those of you looking to your Daily Stars, this past night you may have noticed an empty sky clouded in this reporter’s silence. Snuggled up warm in my bear, I drifted off to the soft sound of puppy snores… and found myself in a familiar, but distant place.

In my youth, I deemed this place Slumberland, but then again, I have always been partial towards naming my original scripts with a catchy portmanteau.

Reflecting now on my college admissions essay to Drexel University’s Film & Video program entitled “Silver-Screen Dreams” I can’t help but notice the correlation between the dreams we dream at night and the dreams we aspire to live by day.

Not so much in the content of the dreams themselves, mind you. Many artists claim that a particular inspiration came to them in a dream– while I imagine that is true, in a way– they tell it much like they were watching it as a film in their sleep, and transcribing it to you by day.

Naturally, an inspiration we are deeply immersed in, will slip its way into our subconscious in our slumber. But not in an instantly recognizable literal sense. And crossing this border the other way around, is something else entirely.

They royal “they” tells you that you do not dream in color.
I know this to be a lie.
I can remember a neon pink octopus. Smooth, shiny, almost cartoonish for there wasn’t much texture to it.
I can remember a wizard, a castle tower, a magic book, a cat that was a shark.
Underwater, but also not. Swimming through water and swimming through air feel very much the same– and I can do both, as naturally as I breath in either.
I can relate mixed memories to you now from this dream, a particularly memorable dream I dreampt many nights ago.
But when I woke from that dream, many afternoons ago, I could remember the rhyme, but none of the reason. Though I did recall it was quite intriguing. A smash hit, a million dollar idea, I had to tell the world. But when facebook asked “What’s on your mind?” and I put fingers to keys… err… pink octopus?
I cannot tell you anything about the dream I dreampt last night. Though I do recall it was very vivid, and I spent much of my morning reflecting on it… err… coffee?
I don’t even drink coffee.
But at a distance, I can describe for you images of that old dream, like it was yesterday. Mayhaps, a tiny bit distorted by this reporter’s recent adventures with Dirk Gently’s Hollistic Detective Agency… but as we speak, I am just now beginning to piece together elements of a plot long forgotten by the journey to the waking world.

When I made the journey back this afternoon, I was left with very little in memory. But as the drive to dream drags me back to slumberland through most mornings, the drive to dream pulls me ever onward now, reflected in my waking world creations.

I suppose I could say the inspiration for this here post came to me in a dream. But that would be so cliché.

Nightly Stars

As children, they tell us stories of the things that go bump in the night, predators hunting in the hour of the wolf, monsters stalking the shadows– terrifying tales to tremble our toes tucked safely under our blankets.

Safe in those beds, we dare not, nor care not, to venture out into the dark abyss, into the soft glow of the moon, or the twinkling light of our nightly stars.

As sure as Yin, there is Yang, our beacons in the eventide, masked in midnight mystery. We fear the dark, we shiver at the cold (brr!) so we flock to the warm light of the sun… but our stars watch over us nevertheless, like the great Lion Kings of the past.

Zu-Zu Lee: masked vigilante, creature of the night, and her fluffy companion Udûn: keeper of the dark fire– we are but ghosts in this haunting hour.

This time, this is the stuff dreams are made of.