27 March 2006

Dreaming in Argyle

or a long and [perhaps too] personal post in which jennie misses she who is gone and thinks of ways to knit her back

My best friend in high school died suddenly and unexpectedly about six weeks before graduation. It was my first experience with death and for months afterward I grappled with an extreme of emotions, ranging from depression to anger, guilt to sadness. Night after night, she would appear in my dreams. And because real life is nothing like tv shows or movies (no medium or sixth sense here), rather than 'listen to what she had to say' in my dream, I would always start screaming and wake in a start. The dreams were terrifying, despite the fact that nothing ever happened in them. Then, one summer night a little over a year after she died, I had a dream where she appeared and, rather than scream, I sat still and listened. We talked, for what seemed like only minutes. But in those dream minutes, I was able to say everything I wanted to say and never got a chance to - that I wished I'd been a better friend, that I was sorry I hadn't been home that day, that I loved her and missed her. And she said all the things I guess I needed to believe she might feel, if one can feel beyond life -- that she was sorry and that she loved me and missed me too. I woke up feeling peaceful. And, for the past eight years, I haven't dreamed of her again.

Two weeks ago, I woke with the distinct memory of having 'seen' my friend. It was a disconcerting feeling that didn't wear off after coffee and work, and I figured I must have dreamed about her, though i could remember none of the specifics of the dream. and then last night, I dreamed about her agian, but this time I remembered the dream -- my friend and I, we didn't talk. She just appeared, as though walking into a room, and then that was it. But get this -- she was knitting. My friend did not knit when she was alive, that I can recall. Her mom did -- I remember looking at her knitting basket and seeing a sweater she was making for my friend -- it had cables on it and I remember thinking how amazing and miraculous they were -- how did she get them to cross? [to this day, whenever I make anything cabled, I think of my friend and her parents, with whom I am no longer in contact].

In my dream, my friend was knitting something argyle. But not a normal argyle... I've been trying to draw what I remember from it since this morning, and I think I've figured it out. It was primarily navy blue, with blue accents (I remember thinking in my dream that blue against blue was strange, but interesting) with an accent color that I can't place (yellow? orange? white?). And now I am obsessed with figuring it out and knitting something in honor of my friend.

Is this crazy? I don't know. My feelings about life, death, and friendship were dramatically shaped by my friend's death. I've never been much of a religious person, and I'm not one now, but I always imagined that last dream to be a 'goodbye' of sorts. So why she's suddenly 'appeared' again in my dreams baffles me. But... there is something kind of neat (?) about seeing her knit, remembering what she was knitting, and trying now to recreate it. Maybe this makes me crazy, but I feel connected somehow through the activity, as though knitting this project keeps her around. It's amazing how much you can miss someone nine years after they've passed away. Who knows if we'd even be friends now if she hadn't died (though, of course, I like to think we would).

Anyway, we'll see where it takes me.


Laura said...

Wow, what an amazing dream. If I were in your position, I would definitely be trying to figure out what she was knitting in your dream -- I don't think that's strange at all.

Maybe one thing the dream means is that, wherever she is, she feels what you feel when you are knitting?

mumblingmonkey said...

I was always taught that the continual pursuit of truth is the most important, in terms of life/spirituality/etc. If we stop because we think we have it figured out, we are in danger of blinding ourselves to many truths we have not yet seen.

So, maybe you are being given an opportunity to continue seeking truth? Maybe I need the reminder too. Hmm.

msubulldog said...

I think that's an incredible dream! How wonderful to try to recreate that knitting in her honor. Whatever it becomes will be beautiful and infused with her memory. It's a great idea. :)

kate said...

I think this is wonderful and very touching. I don't know what's up with dreams - when I am pregnant I experience extremely vivid dreams, often about people I never think of when awake, including people I haven't seen or heard from in years.

I say go forward with the knitting connection and try to make it into a project. I think that's really cool.

Chris said...

Fascinating dreams with amazing connections - looking forward to seeing where that dream design takes you.

Is that runic I see in the the note? That was my favorite way of slipping secret notes.

Leah said...

It was really touching reading about your dream. I think no matter what you read into it you are getting a really great opportunity to honor your friend.

I can't wait to hear what you decide to do with it!