Not too long ago, I had a nightmare about oversized Transformers taking over the world. Imagine the eyes on the cover of Gatsby, but as robotic eyes looming over the horizon. Gleaming silver feet the size of my house, about to crush my babiest of babies, missing her by mere inches.
Nightmares about robots are not unusual for me. Manifestation of my perception that too much of humanity is inhumane. Rather than seeing myself as too delicate for this world, my innermost voice tells me it’s the others who are missing hearts. Empty tin people, roaming the earth off-kilter, unflinching and soulless.
They don’t see like I do, they don’t hear like I do, they don’t think like I do, and they don’t feel like I do. I overcame the idea that I somehow got all their extras, yet I still contend I hold more than can be contained. All this love and hope has a purpose, but it’s not of me, not from me or for me, so I create and teach and heal, spilling words and tears and when I start to feel withholding, I seek the beauty of green trees and gray skies and music I cannot make.
Robots don’t do that.
I awoke as I swept my child from the underside of the Transformer’s metal foot. Panicked and crying, I knew how I reached that level of fear and anxiety.
Brain movies are convincing.
As I lay there drenched in sweat, body aching with tension, heart racing, tears streaming, my husband telling me it was okay, I realized, almost everyone actually knows what a panic attack feels like.
It feels just like waking up from a nightmare.
Without the corresponding brain movie.