Reflections & Ruminations

The Ghost, the Dream, and You

Couple on Canoe | Dreams nad Shadowlands | Jacqueline Stuart
Original double exposure photo c.1920s digitally manipulated by Jacqueline Stuart | Part of the artist's private collection

The Dream and You

I am the only woman running against a group of guys. It’s a military exercise on the Waterfront in Burlington. The sky and lake are the color of tar.

We line up for the race, taking off down the bike path when the shot is fired. I am running barefoot. At the 90 degree bend I catch up to the two runners ahead of me. I give it my all and reach the finish line first.

Everyone is congratulating me on winning.

“Nice job! You did amazing!” I turn around and see you walking towards me with a large smile on your face, your longish hair flowing in front of your face.

“Thanks,” I say out of breath, walking towards you, wanting to say more, wanting to feel you wrap your arms around me. We are inches from contact when someone else suddenly pulls me away into another dream that takes me to a battlefield.

The Ghost and You

I wake up, turn to my left and notice a soldier lying next to me, cuddling with one of my cats. He is dressed in a white uniform and has blindingly blond hair. He is asleep facing me, but his face is blurry.

And this is how it always is on the nights when they feel like stopping by. They sleep on my bed, respectful of my space.

They never scare me, these ghosts who never have trouble finding me.

But every time they come for a visit, I feel exposed. I always sleep nude.

I rush to cover up.

“There’s a ghost in my bed,” I say laughing as you glide behind me into the bathroom. The irony isn’t lost on me.

I return to bed where the ghost is still lying on his side.

I try to return to you in my dreams, focusing on your smile, your gorgeous face that never gets old, but the other ghosts always take my focus elsewhere.