Oct 24, 2018


Sunday night I dreamed the feeling of being hooked.

Ribcage up and forward, inner body pressed like a frightened animal to the back of my sternum, trying to get into my throat – but for the curve, the narrowing. Or trying to get out, as though my chest had doors and my heart could leap free from this messiness, limitation, earthy complicity. A similar feeling to the bladder-driven nightmares of my childhood, in which I pressed along the walls of strange, senseless rooms frantically seeking the door that would release me to the bathroom. Whatever I am holding in my heart, it might leak out while still inside?

In the dream, though, I felt it: how my kidneys were choking, my upper psoas tight. The high pitched ache of too much lumbar curvature on the right side. Shoulders thrown back, hollow at the front edges of the sockets, fear across the collarbones. And I felt

Something else: the bed maybe. The possibility of weight. Dreaming, the liquid luminescence of my inner body turned like a sleeping animal seeking warmth instinctively; like a toddler’s head nodding in the gradual drift to sleep. Down and back. A slow swoop of acquiescence; a come-down-off-the-ledge gesture, but no collapse. Like filling the container fully, at last. 

I melted thus into the dark room, the gathered quilts and my hair on the pillow. Feeling the gesture through all the layers as a small miracle: this is possible. And the miracle of course included: the deep knowing of the hook, the firm and sudden swing of the pendulum.


Published by Devon Riley

lately: youth work, parenting, sorcery, books, walks in the woods

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