Submerged in sleep, I sometimes effortlessly return to an earlier part of my life, which except for in dream, I have forgotten. My recollection of these rememberings is that everything in them is the same, at least all the things that mattered enough to remember and which mark the moment in the fabric of my brain: the smell, the quality of the light, the density of the air, the shape imprinted as if in soft sand. I am myself in these moments, not disembodied or someone else, but I am never exactly the person I was. I return to these moments as I am now, colored by how I remember being then—the now-me poured into an ill-fitting younger container. Neither and nowhere in these relived memories, I perform the mental contortion of grasping backward and inward in time—wearing my own face as a mask.
These dream-relived-lives sometimes continue for several moments after I begin to re-wake, veiling the world I will open my eyes into. It somehow does not seem strange to me that I am both here and there, the irrationality of sleep still laying heavy on me.
As an understanding of myself returns, past worlds shift before me, not as visions but as changing inhabited versions of reality. My body attempts to locate the positions and dimensions of its limbs in order to deduce its state and shape, and by determining the direction and placement of the walls and furniture, reconstruct and name the place in which I find myself. Everything revolves around me: invisible walls changing places according to the shape of the imagined room, the location of the doors, the angle the light. I eventually locate the place and time in which I find myself, a place and time that is not exactly that which I left. Newly awake, I retain the fresh understanding that the solidity of my surroundings—the certainty that they are themselves and not anything else—is less a feature of their existence, than a status newly imposed on them by the regained immobility of my mind.