California Dreamin’

11/5/15, Thursday, 6:15 am

Hi & I  woke up in the living room, as per usual, at 4:09 am and headed to the bedroom.  As I needed to get up at five am, I didn’t have much time, and fell into a fitful, dreamy sleep.

By some miracle we had flown from Memphis to Oakland and managed to arrive at Chaos by 6:25 am, the last leg of the  journey executed at a frenetic pace in a bus with Love at the wheel.  We arrived to a dark common room, greeted by S. who said she’d call someone tomorrow and ask them to give me a job.  The conversation was brief and to the point, and soon  we found ourselves in D.’s room.  I was pretty panicked because I couldn’t find my phone, but Hi crawled right into bed with D.  K. was  there as well and initially started out in the bed right next to theirs, but when I fell briefly to sleep in the 3rd bed, I awoke to find him asleep beside me.

I slept fitfully, alternately worrying that I couldn’t find my phone, and panicking when I thought about how to explain to work that we were in Oakland and I wouldn’t be making my opening shift.

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Inklings of Mortality Part One

Death

Death (Photo credit: tanakawho)

The last dream I had this morning, in the midst of my first alarms, was of a conversation with someone who casually mentioned that someone very close to me had died.  It was one of those awkward moments where the person speaking doesn’t know that what they are saying is news to the person to whom they are talking.

In dream interpretation, at least some streams of thought, one might suggest that this dream could be interpreted as foreshadowing.  I am, however, reminded of the last episode of the first season of “Sherlock” (called “The Great Game”), where James Moriarty, his arch nemesis, is talking about their game of cat-and-mouse.  Holmes interjects, “Lots of people have died,”  and Moriarty harshly retorts, “That’s what people do!”

People die.

So if it’s not foreshadowing, what might it be?

A read through?

A dress rehearsal?

A reminder?

Something.

In the dream, the speaker casually mentions that someone with whom I’m close is in the hospital and then that her husband, with whom I am also close, has died.

This is devastating news, and yet perplexing.  I have just (in waking life) spoken at length to this person in the last few days.  I have received no sudden phone calls.  This person is not (really) dead.

And yet, in the first moments of my waking reality, hearing this news cleaves me to the core.  I am mute with grief.

I hit the snooze buttons, lie back for a few moments more of what?

Rest?

I have just been told that someone has died.

Drifting in that twilight sleep, between the first and second alarms, I am sobbing, or perhaps because I am not yet really awake, I dreamed that I am sobbing.

In any case, it felt real to me.

I have no retort to this.

It was a kind of “dress rehearsal,”  because that’s what people do.

My morning yoga & meditation was interesting.  I couldn’t keep my mind off of the dream.

Death of a loved one is often devastating.  The last conversations had.  The things left unsaid.  The experiences you didn’t get the time to have together — and the ones that you did.

How will I respond when I really receive that phone call?  Sure, dying is what people do, but when it’s one’s own father, or mother, or brother, sister, lover, or friend, it’s different, right?

I’m not sure that it is different.  What’s different is the rawness of the emotion if one is close to the person who has died.

“People die, that’s what they do,” but when it’s my _____________ (fill-in-the-blank), it is, finally, real.

Sweet

Vivid.

Drums.

Walking through desolate places, so beautiful.

Geese, wings cutting the air, as startled, they took flight.

Green trees ringed the scrub grass and dusty flatness.

Before we began:

L. and I at Elsewhere. His brow furrows. There is concern. He’d borrowed a credit card from his cousin, “the small blond one,” to buy the plane tickets. Because his cousin had loaned him the card but L. hadn’t told him that it was for plane tickets, now he was nervous.

“Do we really have to have the card to pick up the tickets? I already gave him the card back, and I didn’t tell him it was for plane tickets.”

We had found a way.

It was India again, and a group of us trudged across the dusty field.

Geese, startled, back to where we began this.

A small village, trailing down from the driveway of a prominent local merchant. The merchant, an expatriated American whose son was now attending college in the states, was throwing a party.

On the drive we met two men who remembered me from my first visit so many years past. We are truly back in India, land of my dreams, a place where 1000 years is young for a communal memory and where tradition dictates the coexistence of 300 million gods.

Our host also remembers.

He says our friend P. and his partner B. (now of two years?) had been there but had already gone. He is most insistent that we make it back for the Festival of Lights (Diwali?) in a couple of months.

Perhaps insistence is too mild a word. He offers to pay for our trip from his son’s college fund.

His family immediately embraces us. Hospitality is the key here.

There is so much food, laid out on silk-covered tables. The servants keep the glasses full.

As we lay back against brocade cushions to enjoy our meal, the sun is setting in a sea of crimson, amber, violet, gold — a vibrant and cacophonous tapestry of light. The lake, rippled by the most temperate breeze, mirrors the sky in its audacious display.

I look around.

Home: sustenance, fond friends, lovers, and family. Sometimes all the same thing.

I feel only a hint of tomorrow’s jet lag.

Life is as sweet as the bowl of lychees at my side.

Then the alarm comes, a digital rooster crowing.

I awake.

I am a raft in a sea of pillows.

Surrounded.

And I am still home.

Last night, I tossed and turned, plagued by a looped and disturbing dream.

Last night, I tossed and turned, plagued by a looped and disturbing dream.

I was in an airport with H and a bunch of faeries.  We were going on a trip.  At perhaps the last moment, I got tired of waiting to leave and decided to run to the bathroom.

Of course when I came back everyone, including H, was gone, as was seemingly my luggage.  Frantically, I tried to call H on his cell phone.  At first I couldn’t get through, then I got him and he said, “No, of course I didn’t get your luggage.  Where did you leave it?”

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The Ringmaster’s Many Robes

22 May 2010 ~6:14 am

My last dream of the night took place in a formal, very corporate,  setting, but the “ringmaster” was a friendly, good looking guy who appeared to change clothes for each client or situation he encountered.  Symbolically, he wore many different hats throughout the day and was thus able to keep a thriving practice.

The first time I met him, he was bringing in clients in to show them his supplements and wares.  He was wearing a corporate uniform shirt and appeared to be a traveling salesman or a broker of some kind.

Not five minutes later, he was unwrapping a beautiful wooden didgeridoo, the playing of which he was able to demonstrate.  Now he was wearing shorts, a tie dye T-shirt, and these outrageously loud (probably Guatemalan) knit leg warmers that were various shades of bright yellow.

When I walked by his office again, it was empty, and he was next door in a large, open seating area.  This room was dark and atmospherically lit.  There were fine leather couches, potted ferns in gold-metal pots, and paintings on the wall.

Now he was standing by one wall with some prospective clients.  He was letting them try out a large (8′ + long, 3/4′ diameter) telescope.  The telescope was stained wood and very ornate.  It actually looked like one of the didgeridoos I saw earlier.  Even though the room had no skylights, there appeared to be some sort of telescope lens-sized translucent window high up on the wall.  The telescope was pointed at this, and through this window I imagined that his clients were now seeing the stars.

I remember when I walked by him, and his clients were looking at this plate on the wall through the telescope, I was slightly in awe of the whole process.  After all, his clients could clearly see something through the telescope even though there was no real window there.  Or perhaps he was simply good enough at weaving a web that his clients were able to enjoy the view because he convinced them that there was a view there to enjoy.