searching lost time

This is an excerpt of opening lines of a draft I am working on. It’s a memory piece that takes place in a few waking minutes between dreams.


An elderly woman is shuffling towards me shouting, “I want to see the face of God!” I recognize her but cannot recall her name. She is wearing a wrinkled pale-blue hospital gown. She turns away and yells, “I want to see the face of God!” The strings of the gown dangle in the back. She spins around and runs towards me with tiny rapid steps. Her legs are wobbling. Her voice crescendos, “I want to see the face of God!” I still cannot remember her name. I look around. I am in a dimly lit hallway of a nursing home. A Filipino woman steps into the hall carrying a half-eaten dinner tray. “It’s time for bed, Mrs. Anderson.” The patient strikes out and knocks the tray onto the floor. She bends at the waist and screams full volume, her voice emanating from deep within her chest, “I want to see the face of God!”

I wake from the dream. It’s 4AM. I’m in bed looking out the window of my bedroom. In the foreground is the silhouette of a redwood, it’s branches undulate and beckon. The lights of Oakland glimmer off in the distance, giving way to the velvet gray of the San Francisco Bay. The sky is chalkboard black with a dusting of moonlit clouds. The voice echoes inside me: I want to see the face of God! I want to see the face of God! It’s the voice from my dream, but it is more than that. It resonates within and elicits a feeling, something old and familiar, like a forgotten friend from grade school, someone I haven’t thought of for many years. I want to see the face of God! My heart buzzes. The vibration moves up my throat and explodes in my head with each repetition. I want to see the face of God! The resonance of the words becomes something I can see, something I can touch, and smell, and taste. I want to see the face of God! Like Proust, “I am filled with a precious essence; an essence that was not just in me, it is me…whence did it come, what did it mean?” …

Kurt Biehl ©2015

About Køt Biehl

I am a psychiatrist in private practice with 25 years experience in multiple settings including long-term inpatient, acute inpatient, partial hospitalization, outpatient, hospital consultation, long term psychodynamic psychotherapy, brief psychotherapy, and even electroconvulsive therapy. I am board certified in general psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. My interests are many. I bore easily. I am fascinated by shamanic healing, particle physics, quantum theory, Schubert, Brahms, Schoenberg, Jung, Reik, Pynchon, Proust, Mark Strand, John Berryman, Richard Feinman, Wharhol, Pollock, Kandinsky, Miro, audiophile stereo reproduction, rocks on the beach, and small shiny objects.
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One Response to searching lost time

  1. Julianne Biehl says:

    What a wonder full cache of your writings.

    I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become. Carl Jung

    Sent from my iPad with joy!

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