‘my absence is strong and warm.
it will hold you.
it will teach you how to miss.
how to be without.
and how to survive anyway.’
-how my father raised me
I blinked and suddenly 6 months passed since my last writing. Not for lack of material per se, but rather lack of time. The reasons have been good, more than amazing, really. And to those who checked in to see what was going on, thank you! I didn’t realize I had more than a couple of people who actually read my writing, and it was really touching to receive your messages of concern. I soon plan on sharing, in more detail, with regards to all that I’ve worked on lately, but suffice it to say that I’ve been able to return to my roots of design and videography after over a decade of dormancy. I’ve also restarted the old farm at my homestead that my great-grandparents originally built, taking it back to the beginning. And most amazingly, journeyed alongside an incredible and indomitable little spirit contained in canine form. All of this too, with my most beloved partner in crime.
And motherhood marches on as well, my son growing and changing every day. And on this particular day, Father’s Day, I wrestle with so many emotions, every year. Even more so now that I am a mother. This writing has been kicking around my skull for the better part of three years now in some form, so I’ve finally decided to let it out.
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What a strange thing it
is to mourn an ending that
never once began.
“If eternal existence is altered, then it must become more beautiful; and if it disappears, it must return with more sublime image; and if it sleeps, it must dream of a better awakening, for it is ever greater upon its rebirth.”–Khalil Gibran
Life has been busy, a pell-mell dash through seasons as summer is now fall, and I have neglected my writing for over 2 months somehow. My full-time career asked much of me over the last few months, and a breakdown of leadership above me lead to some very stressful moments and tense situations. We overcame, but it was touch and go for a moment. On the positive, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to write and design for something truly special, and to meet some wondrously creative folks. I only hope it’s something I can continue with as it’s a true passion for me. All the while, I’ve balanced the regular needs that go into motherhood of both human and furry children.
I’ve been a little blocked, too, to be honest. A little gun shy on writing, and feeling unworthy. But I’m finally determined to break that spell as my friend Edwin told me a few days ago: “if you’re a writer you’re never blocked, you just need to write through it”. So I suppose I have no more excuses, and better out than in. This dream came to me weeks ago and I have waffled on posting it, but for the spirit of writing, I present it, warts and all.
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“He who has not been bitten by the serpents of light and snapped at by the wolves of darkness, will always be deceived by the days and the nights.”–Khalil Gibran, The Broken Wings
Wild dreams, dark dreams, bright dreams. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? There’s so much to say, so much to write about, and yet I find nothing in words that can truly describe what has happened over the last few months. Some of it I can’t write about as it’s not mine to tell just yet, though perhaps one day I will. Lovely moments, wondrous and bright, and then heartbreaking ones, too. For a long time, I felt like I was holding onto threads and praying they wouldn’t fray too soon. Just a little longer, to hold onto so much. But good news has come now, and we’re taking it all day by day, driving miles and miles while the world seems to unravel around us. In the end, it will all have been worth it, if dreams can be believed. That’s why I even began writing this blog to begin with: because someone believed in my dreams.
So tonight, as I sit on my porch surrounded by beautiful strands of hammered-copper lights, I write of a few dreams I’ve had lately. Though they were all dreamt on different nights, they seemed to blur together over days into one message.
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Soyez comme l’oiseau, posé pour un instant
Sur des rameaux trop frêles,
Qui sent ployer la branche et qui chante pourtant,
Sachant qu’il a des ailes!
(Be like the bird who / pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight / feels them give way beneath her /and yet sings / knowing she hath wings)–Victor Hugo
When I was a young girl, I spent many summers abroad in France, my grandmother’s country. I remember how exciting it was to count down the days until the trip every year. I would wish for time to speed up, even through Christmas, just to get there! Each summer, we would spend a few weeks in Paris, then Is-en-Bassigny, and then finally, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, which was my favorite. Built into the mountainside just off of the French Riviera, Roquebrune offered beautiful views of the Provence from its great heights.
My most favorite part about the townhome we owned in Roquebrune was my bedroom window. Situated at one of the higher points in town, I could see for miles out of that window, and I spent untold hours in the evenings sitting on its thick ledge of the 300 year old house. This was a nightly occurrence for me, because I loved to greet the starlings as they danced their murmuration across the sky in the evenings. Appearing over the horizon like a great, black ribbon, they would dive and turn, undulating through the twilight to an erratic dance of birdsong as the sunset burned orange and ember behind them. Eventually they would come closer overhead and completely dominate the sky with the moon rising behind them. Then as gracefully as they came, they flew beyond our town and out of sight. I was entranced each time, as if every night was completely new to behold.
It has been 16 years since I last sat in that window and watched the birds dance their nightfall ballet. I think back to those memories often though, despite the time. Some people imagine a pristine beach as their happy place, and I imagine the starlings at my window, and I can seem the just as vividly as they looked so long ago. It’s no surprise that I should then dream of them, from time to time…
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The body of man has in itself blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile; these make up the nature of this body, and through these he feels pain or enjoys health. Now he enjoys the most perfect health when these elements are duly proportioned to one another in respect of compounding, power and bulk, and when they are perfectly mingled.–Hippocrates
It is with some apprehension that I write tonight, as I don’t really want to write about this dream. I don’t want to shine a light on such darkness, or let it out. And yet, I keep having the dream. As if keeping it in somehow empowers the thought and drives me to dream it again and again and again. So tonight: a catharsis in hopes that I should rid myself of this recurring unpleasantry, and to clear out the black bile of melancholy that visits nightly.
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“I existed from all eternity and, behold, I am here; and I shall exist till the end of time, for my being has no end.”–Khalil Gibran
Lately I have found myself quite often turning to the works of Khalil Gibran. There is something in his writing, the way he experienced life and emotion, that speaks to me and pulls at my heart. I find understanding and comfort in his poetry. A kindredness in how he felt and saw things through a similar lens in, even if he was far more talented than I could hope to be. Whatever it is about him, I love nothing more than to disappear in the beauty of his work. Some days I feel very Gibran in so many ways.
Given the Gibran saturation, it’s no surprise that he should creep into my dreams. This dream is a little more “out there” even for me, but I would feel remiss not sharing it. So it was, the other night, I found myself roaming a limitless white space when I came upon a single red thread…
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“When he shall die,–William Shakespeare
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”
It has been a while, hasn’t it? For months now I’ve battled with writing, battled with dreaming. I feel stuck in slow motion, and in many ways stagnated. Given all that is going on in the world, I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling. It’s almost like running in a dream or screaming under water; fighting so hard and getting nowhere.
So many nights I lay down and hope to sleep, to dream, only to fall into a fitful darkness that feels like sleep, yet still leaves me exhausted in the morning. Dark flashes of scenes, some good, some bad, dance before my eyes, but it’s nothing like the dreams I’m used to. After my surgery in December, my dreams had gone nearly completely, and I worried that they were gone for good.
But here and there I see breakthroughs. Here and there I see the light on the other side. And that’s enough to keep me pushing forward. And even though this dream wasn’t the happiest? It felt good to truly dream again.
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“They’ve promised that dreams can come true- but forgot to mention that nightmares are dreams, too.–Oscar Wilde
As the world locks down around me, so too does it seem that I am running into a bit of trouble in the dream world as well.
Most nights, nightmares have replaced my normal dreams.
Dark dreams of despair and hopelessness.
Sometimes they are vague. Many dreams of inky black, sharply shaped creatures, tearing at me with their terrible black claws as they visit me in the night. They tear away my clothes and scratch at me until I am raked over with fine red lines on my pale white skin. No matter how bare I am, it’s never enough for them.
Other nights are worse, as I witness terrible things happen to those I love, most painful of all being dreams of Liam being wounded.
I relish the nights that these malevolent visions leave me be, as rare as they are right now. They do shine through like sunlight in a dark forest, giving me hope.
One sequence in particular keeps replaying. The dream usually starts off as something innocuous, like being at work or going to a movie. Something totally mundane…
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“All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.”–Kahlil Gibran
Everyone is a dreamer. To what extent, depends on the individual. I’ve learned over time that, just as every person is different, so too is every person’s dreaming. Some people dream in sounds and colors only, with no detailed visuals. Others dream scenes from real life, but in black and white instead of color. I am fortunate enough to have extremely vivid and life-like dreams in living colors and sounds, but no one method of dreaming is better than the other.
I dream every night, and remember my dreams nearly every night. It is extremely rare for me to have a night without dreams, and usually if that happens, it is because I have been sick. I would wager that probably 80% of the time, my dreams are just background replays of my day or week, with a dash of the normal tropes of showing up to school naked, or a dream of being chased with the horrible feeling of treading water instead of running away.
Then there’s the other 20%. The dreams with messages I sometimes seem to receive in the dreaming realm. Sometimes they are of something happening in real time to a friend. Other times, they are events yet to come, such as dreaming of my cancer, or even something as innocuous as pulling an over-sized white envelope out of my mailbox 10 months before it actually arrived. Sometimes, they are symbolic, such as my kundalini snake dream, while other times, they are quite direct. Either way, I always know, while I’m actually in the dream, that it is different somehow from normal dreams. I become lucid in the dream and suddenly it’s like I’m not really sleeping anymore. My brain is cognizant as well to take heed of whatever information I’m about to be given. Sometimes that information is more symbolism, sometimes I am given dates and names and places. I cannot control my movements or actions in the dream, I am still passive to whatever will happen, so I don’t know if it can be called truly “lucid”, but I take notes as it plays out in front of me. It has taken years of practice to be able to do this, but really, I think anyone could, with time.
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