I had a dream I was at a wedding. I told the bride’s sister, “The days my sisters got married were the happiest days of my life.” A lady who overheard said, “Oh that’s sooo nice.” And I emphasized, genuinely, that they were.
Then the groom and company put on a dramatic skit. It was about how his new self is dragging the shell of his old self around, and it’s getting heavy. The groom played the stage, and he had a twin, shadowing him as the newlywed couple walked together. Another guy played the role of a spiritual judge who could see the old self, like he was privy to seeing this man’s ghost.
The old self was insecure; an immigrant; struggled in school. The new self (the hitched man) was confident, compassionate, generous. The old self couldn’t give—he only took. He was a parasite.
The two selves were ready to duel. The spiritual judge said, “Stop! You cannot execute your old self, you must integrate him. He will be a part of your lives.”
And that’s when our baby woke up crying. Earlier than 7AM. 6:38 to be exact. Do other parents see time in a new, precise way?
I check the clock when our baby conks out and when she wakes up.
In casual conversation, I’ll round to the quarter or half hour, but I know she conked out at 9:06PM, squawked briefly at 10:45, again at 11:38—possibly teething?—and woke at 6:38AM.
Now, I won’t go in til 7AM. I have a strict rule.
Later, I got to relay this dream to my husband (on a Skype call). I said, “Do you think getting married is like becoming a new person?”
Do we carry the shell/s of our old selves around? Are we aware that we can’t execute them, we must integrate them, and that partners also marry our shells and layers and accumulated complexities of character?
Winter snow falling is a good metaphor for this; fresh layers falling on gray layers, blending molecularly, inextricably binding to form a new body…