I Dream of Things That Never Were

I watched Vanilla Sky today, and it got me thinking about my strange dreams…(Additionally, I can’t wait to watch Vanilla Sky again, because I feel like I missed about 75% of what the film tries to say.)

I once had a stretch of about 2 months where I dreamed every night, without fail. I wrote them all down, figuring if I ever find myself destitute, living in doorways, I can use them as material for a book and thus pull myself up by my shoestrings.

Famous people who have showed up include Flannery O’Connor, Bruce Springsteen, Leonardo di Caprio, Ben Stiller, the entire cast of Lost, and Marlon Brando. Incidentally, the Marlon Brando dream involves convincing him to make my entire family dinner.

I’m always being chased and subsequently kidnapped. One time I was kidnapped by body snatchers who forced me to eat a pizza they topped with dissected human’s stomachs.

My one lucid dream, all I managed to do was spin around in midair.

I’ve written a love letter to a potato, taken an ice skating class from my college politics professor, died multiple times, snuck into a Walgreens only for Egyptians…despite the cease of consistent dreams, they still come sporadically. I have a list of Questions to Ask God, and Why dreams? definitely makes it. I have a feeling he’ll say, “Why not?”

 

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Staying Nimble on Mental Feet

When people find out I’m taking a Women’s American History course, they’re usually confused. You see, I attend a conservative college, and the two fail to fit together in most people’s minds. I beg to differ.

We read our Nancy Woloch textbook critically, and supplementary reading includes the personal letters of Flannery O’Connor and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. We ask questions like, what effect did the loss of the image of Mary the Mother of God have on the colonies? Did the Great Change for women actually happen back with Luther & the Protestant Reformation? I have a lot of fun classes this semester, but Women of American History (or WOAH) tops them all.

The first supplementary reading was Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. Martha was a midwife in Maine post-American Revolution. Albeit a bit slow in places, the work is very in-depth; it is wonderful to see the portrayal of a woman that involves such complexity. Highlights include the phrase “disgruntled lobster peddler” (he ends up burning down part of the town) and Martha’s battle against despair via finding meaning in her work through her relationship with God and in the writing of her diary.

In this way, I could relate to Martha Ballard, even though we live in vastly different worlds. I never could articulate why I love writing so much, why letters and this blog and even emails are so important to me: processing my life through these mediums helps me to give them meaning. Like I was saying yesterday, I don’t want to be mentally immobile, so I have the urge to move around. Writing is another way to stay nimble upon mental feet.

On Being (Temporarily) Immobile

This morning I woke up to find myself confined to my room for the second time in so many weeks. The entire room spun, as though I was on some freak merry-go-round. I proceeded to get sick in the bathroom. Feeling miserable, I laid down again. The room spun some more, and the vicious circle began.

Apparently there’s a virus in my ear.

A couple weeks ago, I was playing soccer at night and someone kicked my ankle so hard it charlie horsed for 24 hours. I had to crawl around and pull myself up onto the toilet the next morning.

Being immobile is scary. Luckily, my maladies were short lived, and have only resulted in two days sacrificed to the unproductive gods. I can relate to the desire of people throughout history who have wished to move, those possessors of itchy feet who include Pa Ingalls, the Pilgrims, the Holy Family, astronauts, and Christopher Columbus.

Everyone has their own reasons for moving: some, for the sake of moving, some, to escape sure death. But there must be something about moving that is inherent to human nature. Physically, movement stimulates muscle growth. Movement must stimulate growth in the other parts of man. The more I see of the United States, for I have never ventured outside of this country, the more my heart grows for the number of people I meet.

I think that physical mobility reflects in the mentality of a person. If you are physically immobile, your world shrinks, but your mentality suffocates as well. If we consider the mind as a muscle, if it is not used, it atrophies.

When I was reduced to crawling around my room on my hands and knees, I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t focus on a book, or write about being immobile (both actions would have eased the immobility, since they are being mobile mentally). I could only think about how I couldn’t go. As a body and a soul, the lack of go in one led to a lack of go in the other.

So here’s to not being plants, and moving about in all the ways that we can.

A Suggestion

The first thing someone said to me today: “You look so sad!”

It set the tone for the rest of the day, in which I sank into a funk I couldn’t shake. I couldn’t concentrate on homework, practicing the sax and hanging out with people provided only temporary relief.

So, lesson for the day: don’t suggest to people they’re sad or homesick or anything. They’ll begin to convince themselves that is what they are.

After about 4 months without a funk, today was a reminder that I’m not invincible. Funks are still possible, and I’ve got to learn how to make funks fruitful.

Broken Promise

I once promised myself I’d never tell anyone about this blog ever. The direction this blog has taken, though, has led me to backpedaling on that promise.

Starting out, I sometimes wrote about things I wouldn’t want people who know me reading about. In the beginning, this place was my only outlet, but I have since then found a good balance between this form of communication and others, such as emailing a close friend, writing letters, etc. So I can write about those things I’d rather keep private, but still share them. There’s something about writing and keeping it to myself that I just can’t deal with very often.

So I have set a few past posts to private, and lightly edited a few others. I have told one person, and plan on telling a few more. This is preparation in the event that I ever identify myself as the author. I can see this turning into a travel log during my study abroad stint, and I’d like to share that with friends, family, and classmates.

Thanks for hanging with me, mountain climbers.

A Collection of Observations

  • My hair almost reaches my waist at this point in the Let’s-See-How-Long-My-Hair-Can-Grow-Without-Being-Completely-Repulsive Game. I went for a run the other day (it’s finally cooled off in Northern Texas!) and I had my hair in a bun for some reason. Not having my hair hit my elbows as I pump my arms is one of the most wonderful absences ever.
  • Speaking of long hair, one of the maintenance guys started talking to me the other day about an upperclassman who does haircuts. Apparently he thinks my hair is too long.
  • I was at a party last weekend, and my hair kept getting dipped in my drink.
  • I always feel this weird sort of guilt whenever I’m at home because I’m such an expensive child, so I try to do chores to alleviate the guilt. Anyway, I was on my hands and knees, scrubbing away at the floor, and somehow my hair got dipped in the toilet.
  • College needs swings.
  • Why do I never hear Weird Al on the radio.
  • Favorite smells & favorite words should be sections of the About Me on FB. Maybe a gift suggestion part?
  • Listography should generate the bullets for you. Why the heck should I waste my time shift + 8-ing when they could write some code and be done with it once and for all.
  • There should be a therefore symbol on the keyboard, or at least an alt key code. This is probably the most annoying things about computers: we have CAPS LOCK BUT WE DON’T HAVE A THEREFORE SYMBOL. Sorry.
  • I wish I could log onto my computer and JUST have Evernote up. And to access the next “level”, I’d type in another password, and I’d get Spotify.The next level would have everything else available. I would get SO MUCH DONE.