№ 7: In a Vast, Sleepy Valley

Country roads in Yamanashi Prefecture
Country roads in Yamanashi Prefecture

35°48’09.2″N 138°18’43.7″E

In sleep, our world balloons endlessly as our dreams spin fibers of imagination into vast tapestries of otherness. These are dotted with peculiar structures of meaning, the significance of which flees quickly upon sleep’s end.

There is a liminal space between wakefulness and sleep that flickers into existence to temporarily bridge the two worlds. A door opens to the waking world, and the sleeping world begins to leak out, slow and fast all at once, like a somnolent, ground-hugging cloud.

These clouds expand rapidly into the conscious mind before contracting, pulling tracts of the real world into the ether. Later on, the doors may open again, affording us a keyhole view of the conscious world through a heavy fog.

I sometimes find myself partly awake in the dead of the night. The physical space around me is distorted, stretched into impossible proportions. My girlfriend, while only centimeters away in our small futon, seems impossibly far.

A great expanse stretches out between us, dark and populated with strange shadows. I worry that she is too far away, and I don’t understand how we wound up in this situation. But then, with great effort, I extend my arm toward her. It elongates into the darkness, stretching across the vast, sleepy valley until it finds her.

I pull her to me and the distance closes until she is finally right there once again, next to me and sleeping peacefully, wholly unaware of either our separation or my struggle to get her back.

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David R Munson

David R Munson

Photographer, essayist, wanderer, weirdo. Everything is interesting if you give it an honest chance to be.

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