Pluckling Life Strings, Holding Lifelines

       I have a hard time dreaming.  Well...saying that I have a "hard time" sleeping would be an understatement.  I haven't had a dream in nearly five years.  I haven't had a figment of a dream, no recollection of any part of a dream, nor did I ever feel that I even had a dream.  It's normal for some people to not have dreams all the time, and that is expected.  Some people have dreams every night, some have maybe one or two every week or every couple of weeks, some have maybe only one a month, but I've never heard of anyone who hasn't had a dream in five years.  I may be an anomaly in that regard, but I had an experience many years ago that make me think otherwise.  Allow me to explain.

        This began after my final attempt at taking my life.  I was trying to take my life to escape the voices in my head and the hallucinations that I experienced.  I had a loaded Glock pistol ready and has the barrel rested upon my tongue as I readied myself to pull the trigger.  I had experienced too much pain in my heart for me to bear.  I took a deep breath and slowly pulled the trigger.  But rather than be met with an immediate explosion and nearly immediate death, I heard the gun click.  I was both terrified and puzzled when I slowly removed the gun out of my mouth.  I pulled the barrel clip of the pistol, only to witness the bullet that would have taken my life fly out of the barrel of the gun.  I quickly put the bullet back into the magazine of the gun and left it where I got it.  The gun I was using was a brand new Glock, and from what I heard from a friend of mine, the chance of a gun like that jamming was 1 in 970,000.  I couldn't believe that I was alive, and I felt an immediate sinking feeling in my heart when I placed the gun down like I was riding a roller coaster that had just taken an immediate downward dip.  I didn't tell anyone about the full details of my experience with my final attempt at suicide, and I had intended to keep it that way.  That was until recently.

         I had told people before about how I had tried to take my life in the past with that gun, but not about what happened after the traumatizing experience.  That was, until now.  I was very quiet the rest of the day, only doing the chores that I had to get done that day and going to sleep early to try to push the experience out of my mind.  I felt that sleep would help me to escape the experience I had earlier in the day, but I couldn't have been further from the truth.  I fell asleep fairly quickly that night, still having been shaken and feeling exhausted from the events during the day.  But this dream was rather abnormal in nature from anything I had ever experienced before.

         I began to dream.  I awoke in my dream in some cloud environment.  There were drifting clouds all around me, but they seem to form some closed space as if I was in someone's home. I moved further into the cloud, each of my steps landing on a solid surface as if the clouds were soft ground.  I proceeded forward into my surroundings.  I walked for about ten steps before a figure shrouded in strong light spoke to me.  I assumed that the figure was an angel or God perhaps as the figure spoke to me.  

         I would prefer that my name remains anonymous, so I will use a letter to indicate myself.  "X, I have been searching for you, my son."  I was confused at first at why I was here, and why I was talking to some "holy" figure.  "Let me take you apart, and make you 'new' again."  It was then that I saw a hand encapsulated in light reach out and grab parts of my body and rip them off of me, only to watch them dissolve into dust before my eyes.  After having torn my body to pieces, the figure made a hand motion as to blow something on me, and my body became a full figure again.  "I have made you anew my son.  Go forth and complete your purpose."  But before I could ask the figure for any details as to why I was summoned, why I looked the same, or why it never told me who it was, it vanished into thin air, leaving me in a sea of clouds.   I didn't notice it at first, but as the figure, which was engulfed in light for the entire duration that I experienced its presence had left because of music that had begun to play.

          I slowly began to hear it more and more clearly as I began to walk closer to it.  I didn't recognize what instrument it was at first, but I quickly realized that I was hearing someone playing a harp.  The melody grew louder and intense as I slowly made my way with each step towards the source of the sound.  The cloud walls around me seemed to vibrate in tune with the song, creating an almost haunting image, as the clouds quaked under the beautiful and horrifying song that emanated just beyond my vision.  I made my way towards the border of the cloud room that I was in.  I began to run my hands along the moist and opaque wall that was just hidden from view by a viscous sea of clouds that insisted on keeping it hidden.  As I was feeling along the wall, I began to hear the song become more focused in playing.  It no longer sounded distant, but rather so close that I could almost touch it.  I continued to feel along the side of the wall until I came across an opening in the wall that my hand passed completely through.

           I stepped into the room and was met with a sight that I would not have expected.   When I entered the room, the clouds were swirling around the walls, but the roof resembled an open night sky, full of stars and star clusters.  When I fixed my attention towards the end of the room, I saw a figure, shrouded in moving clouds at the far end of the room, playing what I assumed to be a massive harp, hidden underneath a sea of moving clouds that acted as a cloak.  There were hundreds, if not thousands of strings on the harp that the figure was plucking away at.  The song was clear now.  The song played loud and beautifully, but the tone that the song was played in sounded morbid and foreboding.   My eyes laid their gaze upon the figure, who had continued to play its song even with my entrance.

             I slowly proceeded towards the figure who continued playing the harp, but when I got within twenty steps of the figure, it plucked a string that played a truly jarring note.  The note itself was low and shook my very body.  The feeling was like experiencing a sudden drop in your heart like going downhill on a huge rollercoaster.  I was about to ask the figure who it was, but then it spoke with a rough and deep, but relaxed voice.  "I called you here to address your predicament."

              I had barely collected myself to ask the only question I was brave enough to muster, "Who are you?"

              The figure continued to speak, never stopping in the playing of its unique song.  "I am a being as old as time itself.  I witnessed the creation of life and the creation of my purpose." After making a sigh of exhaustion, I wanted to speak to it again but was met with another drop in my heart from the same note that the figure played before.  The figure continued on explaining its purpose without the need for me to ask the figure what its purpose was.  "My purpose exists beyond my current plane of existence but has a far-reaching grasp on all sentient life.”  Much of what the figure said puzzled me.  But with every question that arose in my mind, the figure seemed to have an answer to it and was ready to provide the answer before I could even ask.

               “My purpose is to play the harp of life, and only the strongest strings are used.” 
 I was too curious to wait for the figure to answer my question, so I asked it.
        “What do the strings mean?”  The figure grew irritated and plucked one of the strings again, harder this time, forcing my heart to feel a massive rush of power pulling it down.  

                 “These strings are the connecting force that keeps you living in the mortal universe.  Without these lifelines, mortals would have no connection between the mortal world and the next, and would all perish.  So, I gather the strongest lifelines to play the song of life.  I am sure you realize why you are here by now, but in case you have not figured that out by now, I will explain this to you.  You attempted to take your own life because you felt that you were too weak to survive on your own, so I took my life into your own hands.  You see, you have one of the strongest life lines I have seen in centuries, and I was not about to let your life go to waste.  I intervened and took ownership of your life line, so you can continue to play your role in the mortal world you call home.”

                  I was in shock and disbelief at what I had heard.  “You mean to tell me that you have control over my life now?”

                  The figure plucked my life line again and made me draw silence when my heart took a dip again.  “I will continue to play the song of life, and will pluck your string in your sleep to remind you of your debt to me.”  

                   This response puzzled me above all others.  “Why pluck my string in my sleep?”

                   For the first time, I asked a question that made him slow his pace of playing.  His answer was one that I didn’t expect, and one that I didn’t want to hear.  “Your life line is connected to your dreams, and now that I own your lifeline, you will no longer have dreams, except for when I pluck your life string.  And if I ever find that you are moving along the wrong path, I will pluck your string again.”

                   I was angry now.  I didn’t even know who this figure was, and it told me not only that I would never have dreams again, but that my life was no longer my own.  “And what happens when I go too far off my path?”  

                   The figure grew cross with me now.  “Then I will do what I do with all lifelines that become too worn out; I will cut your lifeline.  There is nothing you can do to stop me, and I will continue to play my song.  If you do not do as I say, then I will cut your line.  Understand?”  I nodded my head in fear of how furious the figure was with me.  “Then I release you from my realm.  Goodbye X, and good luck.”  The figure then played my string one last time and I was jolted awake in my bedroom in a cold sweat.  Whatever that figure was, it had a strong hold on me that it would not ever give up.  I learned in the past from others that I knew about folklore and legend surrounding those jolts that I received in my sleep.  As it turns out, not everyone has seen this figure, but they have felt the same jolts in their hearts before.  

                   I remember having a friend in high school who told me about how he had the same kinds of jolts but had never seen the harp player.  What he told me however about the jolts that other people had terrified me.  He told me about how one of his uncles had the same jolts for years but had one so strong that he ended up having a heart attack and died shortly after.  This was not an isolated incident, as many of this guy’s family and friends experienced the same jolts.  It became apparent to me that there may have been some truth to my dream that night.  I decided to research it more, and legends about this harp playing figure reach as far back as Ancient Greece, where a figure would play on a harp or lyre as the greeks referred to it, and would receive new life lines from mythical entities known as the Fates, beings who decided how long a person’s life would be and where it should be cut.  The strongest strings would be played on the lyre, and would be used to play the song of life, a powerful hymn that keeps all that is living within a mortal plane of existence.  

            I had never put too much weight on the dream, but I’m beginning to get worried.  I have been having more and more of those powerful jolts in my sleep, and I have not had a dream in the last five years.  I have been speaking with some new friend online, and even they have heard of and/or experienced these jolts.  I’m in college now, and I felt that for the first time, I would have some form of freedom.  I now realize that any type of freedom I thought I had was dashed a long time ago.  Because I had seen that figure, I no longer dream, and my life is now in that figure’s complete control.  For others, experiencing this type of situation would be terrifying and unthinkable, but having experienced for years now, I can only smile when I think about that figure.  Of all the things in my life that I wish I could forget, I wish I could forget that figure more than anything.  There is no way I can regain my old life, and there’s no way to free myself from this prison.  I have told some people about this in the past, but they all either doubted my claims or were too terrified of what I was going through to stand by me.  I always wanted to do so much with my life, but I now realize that my life is not my own to choose what I can and can’t do.  I smile now with the realization that the old saying is true, “We are all just  puppets being controlled by someone bigger than us.”


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