Standing in a dark forest, on a moon-lit evening-
with no idea of how I got here,
and with no concise answer as to what I was feeling-
I looked into the shadows,
and suddenly I saw the face of someone watching me.
The face got larger and larger as they walked towards me,
and then stood two feet away from me,
staring at me with unseen black eyes,
with a face as white as a ghost-
that if not for the moon, you would never believe or see.
I am Dream,” spoke the man, dressed all in black
and with hair as wild as a thorn bush.
You have many questions, I would guess;
however, for now, you must hush
,”
said “Dream” to me, as he put an ice-cold index finger to my lips.
Truth sometimes comes when you least expect it,
and moments of understanding happen fewer that the times
you will witness a total-eclipse
.”

The man seemed to know me somehow-
it was as if he knew exactly what I was thinking;
as I looked into his eyes I tried to read any emotion that I could
on his face, but he remained nonchalant, still, and unblinking.

I felt like I should be scared,
but, oddly, at no time did I feel uneasy;
my eyes told me, from where I was, that I should be cold,
but my mind and my body didn’t agree.

Ask me a question,” said Dream, “even though I know the one
that is always on the tip of your tongue.
Ask me the question that you have been asking
for so long to be answered ever since you were young
.”

“Who am I?” I whispered, not expecting this man to know what I was asking,
nor why-
the question that I have never been able to answer for myself
without beginning to cry.

Most that ask that question nearly always already know the answer.
Some stop asking when they believe that they have found a real-world
substitution that they prefer
,” replied Dream, as he looked up to the sky,
and then back at me,
and for an instant we two were like two beings of light in darkness
and no longer surrounded by trees.
The name that you were gifted after your birth was not accidental.
Who you believe you are, and what has befallen you throughout your life
is elemental
.”

As I face Dream, I noticed that I too was wearing nothing but black-
but that I was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned in white with a word on my chest:
“What does this word mean?” I asked, pointing to myself- “Is this a test?”

When Dream spoke this time,
I swear that his skin shone whiter that it had before;
as soon as Dream had finished saying that
This is the word that has forever been knocking on your front-door“-
that was the moment that I felt as if he, Dream, was telling me something
that I had never considered before.

“Is this a dream? I don’t recognize this place?”

This is a place that is very important to you, I understand-
somewhere you have never visited after dark before,
but which has always made you imagine what it is like to be in outer-space.
This place is infinite, unending- and yet brief, and simple
,”
Dream explained, as he looked down, as I did, to see below on the ground
the symbol of a snake devouring its own tail.
Do you understand?” Dream asked, “Do you recognize the answer?“-
as I looked into Dream’s face, I saw and I felt something that was
incredible, beautiful, and pure:
I imagined a child being born, growing rapidly older-
as if every year of its life were a second-
until the face that I saw looking back at me was myself, completely stunned.

I have always believed that things happen for a reason,
but I never put much credence into the idea that everything in my life
has been guiding me to a truth that some may call a destiny-
that was for stories of heroes, not for me.
But you are a hero,” Dream proclaimed, to my surprise-
You do have purpose beyond your dreams and your horizon-
the terminus of all, not just the one
.”

“Why have you come to me now? I don’t recall ever dreaming about you before?”

I have been a part of every dream that there has ever been
since time began, as I will be forevermore.
I was there when you first fell in love and dreamed so intensely,
deeply, powerfully, that you awakened your gift of creativity
and inflamed your waking desire to make someone feel special;
I was there when you first looked within yourself,
found who you were, who you were going to call on the world to know you as-
the name that sounds as perfect and fitting, as it does natural
.”

Dream then turned and started to walk away-
to which I soon beckoned: “Dream? Wont you stay?”

And then Dream replied, without looking back over his shoulder:
I see no need to stay and remind you of that which you know
can only be grasped by they who are the beholder
.”

“Thank you!” I called out into the darkness, as the pale-faced
dark-clothed man disappeared so that he could no longer be seen.

Next time you feel the need to rediscover who you are,”
said Dream, as his voice echoed as if from every direction,
you need only to close your eyes, return to this place,
and dream
.”

Inspired by The Sandman by Neil Gaiman