Earrings

2 07 2015

Then, there are those dreams

when you see your sister

and she’s still alive

and you sit across the table from her

and you want to explain to her

that the reason you’re wearing her earrings

is because it was a way to have her with you.

But here she is—

she’s across the table from you

she isn’t gone

so you sort of feel bad for having her earrings while she’s still here

but there was a reason you had the earrings

a bothersome, sad feeling

which becomes a slow washing over

a tiny river of realization

this odd knowing

this knowing

that she is both here and not here.

She is both dead yet alive.

Gone from this world, but very much present in your heart and mind.

These dream moments are too quick

too fleeting

and you don’t realize how precious they are

until you have left them

until you are awake

and alone

in your room

thinking of her

and her earrings

your sister

the love





Other Times and Places

17 06 2012

Right now I am in Chicago, sitting at home and thinking about stories.  Stories are like dreams.  They are intimate, revealing, and can transport us to other times and places.

June 5, 2012.  I’m in Seattle on vacation, taking the bus to see a friend.  When I get on the #44 and ask for a transfer, a homeless man chimes in and gives me almost-correct directions.  During the 90 minute visit with my friend we cover years and distance.  We reminisce about our Chicago trip ten years ago.  We laugh about old and new inside jokes.  She hugs me and tells me she’s sorry to hear about my sister.  After our time together, I am greeted once again by the same homeless man I saw at the beginning, sitting in the same spot on the same bus.  We both went many places by being in just one.

February 1, 1998.  I am flying out to Seattle, WA from Louisville, KY with a one-way ticket.  My sister says I am brave, but I don’t really hear it.

June 1, 2007. I am moving from Seattle to Chicago.  It’s a Friday around 5pm and I’m in traffic in my rented moving truck on Devon—except I’m pronouncing it “Devin” ‘cause I haven’t lived here yet.  I pass a street called “Pulaski” and it hits me that I’m going to be living in a very different city—one where maybe I’ll even get to hear Polish being spoken from time to time.  I pass a street named “California” and I feel so very far away from the west coast.  Later, I will arrive at my new home and load all of my belongings up three flights of stairs with the gracious help of my landlord.  Then, when the door is closed, I will sit on the floor and cry and cry.  But I know deep down that everything will be okay.

June 1, 2012.  I am in Seattle, walking past apartments I’ve lived in, restaurants I’ve dined in, and fields I’ve played Frisbee in.  I am raw with memories.  A stranger wakes me from my reverie by saying, “Are you a local?”  “Ah, I used to be” I reply.  I give her almost-correct directions.  But her question has shaken me and I worry that I’m in danger of regretting my move.  To cure this, I think of all of the reasons I am grateful I moved to Chicago (the lovely friends I’ve met, the way the windy city inspired me to do solo work, how nice it is to be living closer to my family in Louisville).  Just then, walking toward me, is a man wearing a shirt with “Chicago” written across it.  I think I’m dreaming.  But it’s real.  Later, I will sit at my favorite donut spot in Seattle, wearing my Kentucky shirt, and hear them play a Sufjan Stevens song about Illinois.  Places and times will converge in one spot, in one moment—kind of like they do in a dream.

I dreamt of Kentucky last night.  It was a different time.  My sister was still alive.  We were all in the kitchen talking, joking, and laughing with each other .  I was so excited to see her.  I got to tell her that I love her, which felt so good.  But she didn’t really hear it—I realized I was dreaming before she could respond. It wasn’t real.  I guess I was stirred awake by the impossibility of it.

October 11, 2007.  I have lived in Chicago for four months. My parents are up from Louisville to visit me.  When we go to the lake, I experience a rush of de ja vu.  The last few years that I lived in Seattle, I had this recurring dream where I lived in an old hotel on the beach.  My mom, my dad, my sisters, and my nieces and nephew were all in the dream. It made me think that maybe one day I’d live by the ocean–maybe even own a B&B–and have lots of good family visits.  But here I was, with my mom and dad on a Lake Michigan beach and it all made sense.  I will get this de ja vu feeling again every single time a family member comes to Chicago to visit me, like when my sister comes up for a brief visit three years later.

May 19, 2012.  I am in Kentucky for my niece’s wedding.  As I’m walking outside, I see a key chain lying in the grass.  It’s one of those silver key chains with the outer circle and the spinning middle part.  The middle part says, “Illinois” and the outer circle says, “Chicago, the Windy City.”  I smile and remember the very first time I saw this type of key chain.  It was in 1998 when I first moved to Seattle from Louisville.  I was working in the gift shop of Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. I was in love with my new city and homesick for my old one.  In the stockroom I opened up a box of our new key chains.  The inside said, “Woodland Park Zoo” but the company had made a mistake and outside said, “Louisville, KY.”  I thought I was dreaming.  I took them around to everyone in the shop, asking them to read it to me.  It was real.

October 1, 2011.  I buy myself a purse in Chicago.  It looks sort of like an owl.  My sister loves owls.  It has always been her thing.  Deanna loves owls.  Laura loves turtles.  Amanda is the weird actor one that switches what she likes a lot.  If I was younger, I might question if it’s okay for me to like owls.  But I’m older and I like the purse.  So I buy it.  I wonder when I will see her next, because I know she’ll think it’s cute.  I see an older man trip on the escalator going into the store.  I try, without success, to keep him from falling.  But he tumbles and tumbles and tumbles on the unforgiving escalator.  It feels like a dream.  It makes me think of how fragile we all are. The man kept falling and the stairs kept moving and none of us were able to stop it from happening.  That night, I dream about being in a combination city made of Louisville and Chicago.  I’m trying to get a hold of my family and my family is trying get a hold of me.  But, the buttons on the phones aren’t working and I’m panicking and it seems so urgent for me to see them.  I wake up, heart racing.  I know it was a dream, that it wasn’t real.  But I switch on my phone and see all of the missed calls starting early in the morning.  When my mom tells me on the phone that my sister has died, I will cry and cry.  It will feel like a dream.  But it’s real.

Right now, I am in Chicago, traveling to other places and times while being in just one.  May we all be wakeful enough to appreciate the dreamy moments and restful enough so that we are not stirred by the impossible ones.





I wonder if they ever found out the answer….

16 06 2012

Ah, I love lookin’ at the search word terms for my site.  Apparently, just recently, someone clicked on my site ’cause they searched the following:

“monkey in dream is good or bad”

In case they click over here again, I’ll venture to help them.

Well, Dear Reader, I’d say that depends.  Are you a performer who has monkeys in your solo show?  If so, perhaps the dream is simply you working out the right blocking.  Do you like monkeys?  It’s a good thing.  Are you scared of monkeys?  It’s a stress dream.  It really depends on so many factors.  Was the monkey wearing your clothes?  Did the monkey remind you of your ex?  Or of your mother?  What did the monkey say to you?  Was there direct eye contact?  Were any other animals involved?  Did you feel loved?  Mocked?  Inspired?

Perhaps your monkey is just an extension of your ego.  Tell your monkey not to bother you.  Give your ego a banana and go back to sleep.  Sweet dreams, dear reader.  Sweet dreams.





My Past and I

16 01 2012

So I had a dream where I could fly

But the only one who knew was My Past

My Past was gentle and kind and we had lots of secrets together

 

We tried to get away from the others.  He protected me.

I climbed up the fence-building and jump-sailed down

He distracted them from my powers by going through the gate

 

Before anyone caught up with me, I saved a girl who seemed already gone

An Ophelia submerged in the creek

It was another world, that creek

Familiar and Unfamiliar

 

The creek people lived there and the legend was

They eat people

My Past had almost been eaten a long time ago

But survived and was stronger for it.

My Past had a tattoo of the charm that wards off any evil from the Creek People

My Past was safe

 

We saw horses and went wading-skating down the creek

My Past and I

We could walk on water

 

When we returned

My Past’s Present saw us together

It made me self-conscious





What is my brain trying to tell me?

23 03 2010

My dreams are usually pretty vivid.  For a long time, I kept a dream journal.  But I just lost the discipline after awhile.  (And some of my entries were so illegible, I couldn’t even make out what happened.)  I don’t write down my dreams nearly as often as I used to–but every once in a while, something passes through my head (or my head passes through something) in the wee hours of the night that I just have to record–even if I don’t know why.

Last night, I had a dream involving teaching and cartography, art and family.  At a certain point I picked up a newspaper.  There was a poem and in the dream, I just loved it.  It seemed juicy and refreshing.  Reading text in dreams is for some reason typically pretty difficult.  But I could read this easily.  When I woke up, I scrawled the small part I remembered in my journal.  Here it is:

Past          Present          Future     (Tents)

Christed     Christing     Goats

I kinda get a kick out of the fact that my mind made a pun while I was sleeping.  In the dream, the poem seemed so very relevant.  I sure wish I could remember the second part of the poem.