Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Dream a Little Dream

Earlier this morning:

 We were going on a trip. The kids were all packed and ready, the OC too. I was not. I said I'd follow along after them so they left for the airport and I continued packing. I was having trouble getting everything into my suitcase. The problem was made more challenging by my efforts to carefully squeeze a large pizza box in between my clothes. A pizza box, you might well ask? Yes, a pizza box containing, of all things, a fresh, still hot pizza. The challenge seemed to be to get it in there without squeezing any tomato sauce out onto the clothes I'd packed around it. 

You're probably holding your breath, on the edge of your seat, wondering if I got to the airport on time and if so, if I got to our destination on time, and if so, was the pizza still edible?

I have to disappoint you. I woke up before I even got to the airport.

Last week:

We (not sure who "we" are) were in some kind of vehicle with wheels, riding along at speed on a hard, sandy beach. The wind in our hair, the salty spray stinging our eyes, it felt exhilarating. We came around a headland and suddenly the beach was a lot more watery. The hard sand was now behind us, but still our vehicle continued skimming over the water which had a look of mottled glass, the kind people use where they need light but also privacy. There were opaque circles and blobby shapes on it surrounded by foamy bits and areas of clear water. We were still going in our original direction, parallel, more or less, with the shore. We could see an area closer to shore that had hard packed sand like we'd been on earlier. We decided we should swing around and head back towards it. Easier said than done. The current carrying us along was too swift to drastically change direction. But then we came to an area where the beach swung out towards us and we were able to guide our vehicle there and yeah! Succeeded in getting onto hard sand again. There was a street off to our left so we turned onto it and found ourselves in a picturesque Belgian village. How did I know that? The street signs were in Flemish. I have a shaky, nodding acquaintance with Flemish from the few years we lived in Belgium, though I would certainly flounder if required to speak it. I would have liked to have stayed and explored a bit but that was the point at which I woke up.

This is the only life I have, the only one I expect to have, but these crazy, irrational dreams make me feel like a stranger in my own head. If anyone has a right to know what's going on in there shouldn't it be me? But as soon as I twitch an eyelid, or move a minor muscle, the Killer of Dreams snatches them away and I'm left trying to make sense of the shattered fragments. 

Maybe it's another fallout from the pandemic. Maybe sleeping life is compensating for the ordinariness of waking life - jazzing things up a bit.

It does add a tantalizing element of anticipation to falling asleep - I never know what kind of wild and crazy adventures await as soon as I turn out the light and close my eyes. 

Of course, another possibility is that I'm just nuts

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Pusillanimity of it All

A recent post by Colette had me nodding my head. I knew what she was talking about. Nothing going on here, nothing to see, nothing to write about - but hey - wait a minute! Do I still have a pulse? Is my head constantly teeming with thoughts and words? And how does that translate into such inertia that I've "nothing to say"? That was the gist of one comment on her post. Roderick Robinson's arrow hit the mark. It pierced my inertia too. It turns out I have a lot to say but am timid about saying it. Will people fall out of their chairs with the boredom of it all? Will they fall asleep? Will my blog be cancelled? Just kidding. We're not on youtube, nobody cares. There is so much angst in the world right now, so much division, so much an attitude of "if you're not with me you're against me" in matters of huge import to humanity, it's tempting to decide that the simple routines of my days and my ordinary thoughts will just bring on the yawns.


I am, once again, reading Julia Cameron's efforts to beat those of us with writerly ambitions but lazy attitudes into the discipline of what she calls "morning pages." I've been at it a week or too, hit or miss.  I didn't exactly 'fall out of bed directly onto the page' this morning but I did hie me to the park behind us as soon as I was dressed, even remembering, in my uncaffeinated state, to take the key that would open the gate, my fence scaling days being far behind me.

And what a morning. The park so peaceful, especially as "peace comes dropping slow" these days. Nature is tending to business, unbothered by the latest political and covid outrages from the media. Already warm, the air oozing moisture, the sun wrestling its way through the haze, the lazy overhead drone of an airplane, the nearby drone of dragonflies. There's a large bird in the reeds out a ways from the dock where I'm sitting - heron? Wood stork? 

And then a smaller one shows up - a blue heron ? I wait, hoping Blue will come closer for a better shot but soon realize how impatient I am. If it happens, it'll be in his time, not mine. Half an hour later the larger bird is still standing in the reeds. Maybe this is his morning meditation time? Wisely he lets his breakfast come to him while young Blue flaps about, chasing his. 

The lake looks so calm but don't be fooled. Under the surface and that carpet of waterlilies it seethes with life: tiny fishes, bigger fishes, frogs - I hear them singing, turtles - I hear the occasional splash.

  And snakes. Like this fellow.

There have even been sightings of alligators, reason enough not to go wading out in search of a waterlily close-up! In the interests of keeping my limbs I content myself with this one, nestled up against the dock. 

And yet I know, as idyllic as the scene before me appears, tooth and claw are the order of the day. Should I weep for the fishes gobbled by those herons? Or respect the fact that here, pusillanimity has no place? 

At last, his meditation and breakfast done, the stork departs on wide, lazy wings. I could sit here all day absorbing tranquility through my pores, but my bladder, as usual, has other ideas. I unfold my bones and head for home, emboldened to mine that teeming, incoherent stream of thoughts and words that whirl dervishly through my brain and write something, anything, with more courage.

Thank you Colette, and thank you Mr. Robinson for the kick in the pants.