A bridge half-swallowed by fog seems the stuff of disturbed dreams.
But it seems equally otherworldly to happen in a city upon fields of grapefruit-sized lavender flowers, or fairy dwellings–or to see Suessian scarlet roping spilling from around a tree, a misty reflected shoreline, and layered clouds bubble and bruise before folding themselves into lambs and lions while children listen to their bedtime stories.
My life may be short on revels, but even in daylight hours it can hold the dream world’s gloriously non-linear tumult, discord, and mystery.
Last night I dreamed that our family–including Jim and the four children who suddenly are all away at schools in four states–was at some kind of combination kids’ store and restaurant.
In my dream, I left to get the car because it was snowing and I didn’t want Jim and the kids to have to battle through the storm. My feet were bare, however, and first I struggled to find the car. Then I had to extricate it from a densely packed lot and re-park it without careening into another car. As I did so I thought that at any second I’d hear the screech of metal-on-metal and there would be no warning sound: any skidding would be muffled within the white vortex. I’d be alone inside the car as glass shattered and steel bent. No one would hear me scream.
Somehow, the crash did not come.
Finally, at the end of the dream and the beginning of my waking, I went back into the building where Jim sat at a table with the children seated next to him. I looked at him and knew that something was very wrong.
Oh, I thought, waking up. The rain outside had turned into a trickle of tears down my cheek, a trick of mind into matter relegated to dreams.
“Oh,” I said, out loud, though there was no one to hear me. “Is today the twenty-second?” Continue reading “When September Ends”
The shot is one-of-a-kind.
These are the steps my husband Jim took in order to get it:
1. He took us–me and our sons and daughters–to the other side of the world.
2. The World’s Most Interesting Man guided us to a tiny remote island; he happened to have scaled its cliff side three weeks earlier and noted that an incredibly rare species of bird was nesting and offspring were likely to hatch by the time we arrived.
3. Jim clambered as directed, to the windy edge of a cliff with a sheer drop to gorgeous green-blue water . . . and ragged volcanic rock.
4. He balanced facing the nest, built into a nook in the cliff, with his back to the open air and water, and peeked in on this rare Pacific bird as I shouted into the wind for my terminally ill husband to be careful.
He grinned back at me.
Certain dreams seem universally to plague my friends—dreams of falling, of having to return to high school (the horror!), of having to take a college exam in a class to which one has neglected to show up all semester.
I had another recurring but pleasant dream as a young child: I would go down to the basement and discover secret rooms. One day there might be a candy store tucked behind a sliding panel above the bookcase, or shelves full of glorious colorful art supplies. Another day I might find my own book store hidden down there, with pillows where I could recline in peace and read. (As I have mentioned, I come from a lengthening line of proud nerds.)
I dreamed last night that a very healthy Jim and I had discovered an extra two flights upstairs in our house, with many secret rooms. Somehow these had escaped our notice during all our years in the house. We went up together and found a strangely modern, pristine, and curiously painted extra two floors.
Notwithstanding author Michael Chabon’s recent diatribe against sharing dreams–which he derided as “the Sea Monkeys of consciousness” and seems to think of as the crude flotsam of legitimate, waking thoughts–I don’t think it unreasonable to examine some of them to try to eke out what one might be missing in the noise of a day. Continue reading “The Extraordinary Ordinary”