In the hypnagogic state, neither fully asleep nor fully awake, I will sometimes have a sense of having dreamed a situation I am eager to return to because it seemed significant. Perhaps it had a message for me. But I cant remember it, cant recall any of the images that constituted it. If I could recall even one maybe it would be enough of a hook to pull me back into it. I cant even be sure I did in fact dream it. Or that this dream situation exists in my dreamland. All I’m aware of, in my state of languor tending toward unconsciousness, is a yearning and a sense of loss.

A yearning for I know not what other than some dream image or situation that is—what? the key to death’s door, my own death’s door? The sense of loss—that the key which was within grasp is so no longer—does not devastate me (after all, I’m nearly asleep), but I am aware in my groggy state that I have missed it this time and can only hope to be more attentive next time I dream this opportunity.

In fact, I want to fall fully asleep in hopes of recapturing the dream that escaped me. Or of dreaming another situation that will be something of a key to my life and death—even though I’m not fully convinced there was such a dream in the first place.

Is there even a key? Perhaps there is not even a door. Only an arch “wherethrough,” as Tennyson says in his poem Ulysses, “gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades forever and forever . . .” Yet it is always there. And I believe my conscious thoughts will take me to it and through it as much as my dreams will. I’m counting on it!