Mémoire Du Jour

Rain Chudori's Mémoire Du Jour, or Memory of the Day, is a monthly column
in The Murmur House that records small, intimate, and eternal memories in the form of philosophy,
film, music, art, literature, and love. It is something new, something old, something you.


welcome home, starling

you are safe now

Always Asleep

Always Asleep

“She would have liked not to be alive, or to be always asleep.” 
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

The clearest dreams I have are those of death. They are not violent deaths or particularly devastating ones. They are quick, merciless, and without pain. They are, in fact, an escape from pain. On one of these nights, I had dreamt that my partner was leaving me. I remembered that he had lied down on the bed that we shared, looking at me, saying the words, "I do not have to be with you." After this unemotional delivery, I felt an incredible force of pain, walked calmly towards the window, pulled the silver lever and jumped. A few minutes later, I woke up to my partner, in real life, shaking me and calling my name. He said that I had fallen asleep for a few hours, stood up, walked over to the window, and pulled the silver lever, before he realized that I was sleep walking and brought me back to safety. 

"Do you remember why you tried to jump?" He asked me. He was holding me, real and present and emotional. 

"Incredible pain." I told him. 

“Everything, even herself, was now unbearable to her. She wished that, taking wing like a bird, she could fly somewhere, far away to regions of purity, and there grow young again.” 
― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

For the longest time, the only thing I knew how to do is survive. When you are a child, you do not look at the world like the moving, menacing threat you do as an adult. It is not you who is pure, but the world itself. So when my parents were full of noise, I would retreat to the attic library, lock the door, and will myself to sleep. After a while, the noise would disappear, and I would descend into darkness. I used to dream of god, that he would place me on a cloud, and together, we would fly above the city to cure every one of their illnesses, misfortunes, and despair, including those of my parents. There were no questions about the existence of god - of its function and its form - that I would one day acquire in my adulthood. When I woke up, the noise would be long gone, and it was as if that it was through my dreams that my parents found some sort of peace. What happened during my sleep, I did not miss. 

These dreams would return to me during heartbreaks, trauma, loss, and deaths. Whenever terrible things happened, I would retreat to my bedroom, lock the door, and will myself to sleep. And as if I was still a child, god would place me on a cloud, and together we would fly above the city to cure every one of their illnesses, misfortunes, and despair, including mine. Strangely enough, these dreams did not expand with the new knowledge and experiences that I had acquired as an adult. There were no questions about the existence of god – of its function and its form - that I would usually have. It didn't matter that to me that the real world had become the moving, menacing threat that inflicted pain. It is not I that is pure, but the dreams itself. When I woke up, the noise would be long gone, and it was as if that it was through my dreams that I had found some sort of peace. What happened during my sleep, I did not miss.

“She wanted to die, but she also wanted to live in Paris.” 
 Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

The clearest dreams I have are those of god. They are not philosophical dreams, or even spiritual ones. They are gentle, merciful, without pain. They are, in fact, a release from pain. On one of these nights, I had dreamt that my partner was leaving me. I remembered that he had lied down on the bed that we shared, looked at me, and said, "I do not have to be with you." After this unemotional delivery, I felt an incredible force of pain, walked calmly towards the window, pulled the silver lever and jumped. A few minutes later, I woke up to my partner, in real life, shaking me and calling my name. He said that I had fallen asleep for a few hours, stood up, walked over to the window, and pulled the silver lever, before he realized that I was sleep walking and brought me back to safety. 

"How do you feel?" He asked me. He was holding me, real and present and emotional. 

"Incredible." I told him. 

The Kitchen

The Kitchen

In Memory of Myself

In Memory of Myself