Death occupies a region of my conscious mind frequently. I try not to dwell on it, but it presses sometimes, often sparked off by movies, the news, and grief that seems omnipresent in our world. It is a reoccurring nightmare theme and remnants of childhood terrors resurface in those dreams. There are real things to be afraid of and there are things that "go bump in the night" that make me unable to sleep well. I think of all those fearful things: snakes (real and human) time, masks, violence and guns, and the strangers in our midst. And of course those sudden, life altering events we experience, lightning burning our houses to the ground, being the victim of a random shooting, being caged in a society with a leader who is out of control with power, my xenophobia, and the relentless warning beat of the drumbeat of my own heart.