Even before the last snow melted, hopeful shoots sprouted up along the edges, and my mother was out there with them, coaxing everything green to thrive. By the time summer arrived, we had a riot of colorful blossoms partying in our garden. She grew tomatoes, carrots, and zucchini. We feasted on zucchini bread, along with squash boats filled with meat and sauce and cheese. Those green summers, filled with fresh food, made me feel optimistic about the coming school year. My dreams turned into emeralds, just waiting to be mined.
When I dream of you, I dive into the impossibly blue sea where everything is fantasy. I am perfect there, a bejeweled mermaid, tail scales glistening, streams of pearls in my hair. You love me perfectly in this azure paradise, where all that was impossible becomes real, the scales of judgment swept from your lazuline eyes.
When I wake, I am impossibly blue, streams of tears dripping from my eyes. All that was possible is impossible, as unreachable as the stars in the lazuline sky. Pearls of rain bead upon the windowpane, forming a glistening tale of possibilities denied.
Rory @ Earthly Comforts gives us a new set of questions today for his Dawdler series.
Is the WHY to everything important?
Perhaps eventually, but sometimes it’s best just to make a decision and get on with it already. Not everything needs to be analyzed to death when there are tasks to accomplish.
What would you list as your Top Five Fun Things?
Staying home and reading, writing, painting, and/or watching TV with my cat (4). Playing board games with family or friends, as long as everyone is being chill and not taking the games too seriously.
Should we care about the dreams of others or only our own?
I’m taking this literally as actual dreams we have while sleeping. That said, I find other people’s dreams immensely boring, so I can only assume that mine are boring to hear as well. I think the tedium factor is inversely proportional to how fascinated we are by our own dream and its zillions of vivid and strange details. Yawn…
How well do you deal with criticism from others?
It depends. My children can do no wrong, so they can say whatever they wish to me. If I’m at work, I take correction in stride. If an editor is working with me to get my work published, I have no problem with criticism. If I ask to be critiqued, then I appreciate any constructive feedback. But when randos show up here just to get attention by saying something edgy, their comments get binned. I have no tolerance for unsolicited criticism from strangers or even people I know who are just in the mood to be rude.
My philosophy is to take a moment and ask myself why I have the desire to be critical. It usually ends up being more about me than the other person, so it’s better to keep quiet. But in the case of someone being aggressive, then it’s entirely appropriate to tell them to back off.
Do you say YES or NO more often, and which is it?
Take a guess! LOL
What is nose hair for?
Filtering out dust and other bad stuff.
What is the funniest comment you have ever received?
That I should do whatever it is I’ve gone to great lengths explaining why I don’t want to do the thing, such as travel or date or engage in some sport. I’m like do you even read, bro?
Novels or Netflix?
Do good things come to those who wait?
Not necessarily. Sometimes we pass up a good thing because we’re holding out for something great, and then we end up with nothing.
“Grandpa, I had that dream again,” Odwin said. “The one where I was in a hostile place searching for my home. So scary!”
Grandpa shook his head. “That’s the trouble with your generation, Oddy. You put way too much emphasis on dreams and nonsense instead of focusing on school and work. You’ll never escape this drudgery if you sit around staring at your navel.”
Odwin pulled out a canvas from his backpack. “This time it was so clear in my mind I wanted to show it to you. I loaded up my paintbrush with the darkest colors, just like I remembered it. I think I’ve really captured the essence. There’s one spot where you can advance over some slippery rocks to a doorway. From there, you can see paradise. Or something seems like paradise anyway.”
“Just sweep all that out of your mind, son,” Grandpa advised. “Thinking about dreams and painting, and writing poetry like your sister does, is all a bunch of garbage. You’ll simply end up floundering around on foolish missions like your father did instead of making a better life for yourselves.”
“But Grandpa!” Odwin protested. “Just take a look, please? I’m worried I’ll keep having this nightmare until I figure out what it means.”
The old man sighed and turned to look at the painting. “Holy asteroids! That’s Planet Seven. How did you know about it, Oddy? It is forbidden to show any depictions of that planet. We must destroy this immediately!”
Oddy clutched his painting to his chest. “I won’t! And I’m gonna go there too, to Planet Seven, and find out the truth. You’ll see!”
Grandpa sighed in despair. “Just like your father.”
The sun was setting over the lake, painting the sky in a mix of orange and gold, and the air was filled with the sound of crickets singing, when suddenly… three goddesses ran out of the woods into the meadow to celebrate the solstice. They flung off their dresses with wild abandon and began dancing naked in a frenzy with their long hair flying in every direction.
Simon watched them in wonderment, trying to be quiet so they wouldn’t notice his presence in their feminine domain. He was concerned it wouldn’t be a great idea for a married man to start cavorting around with nude wood nymphs. In fact, he was fairly certain that Sheila would frown upon that. But they saw him!
“Simon!” they chanted. “Simon! Simon, get up!”
What? Oh crap, it was only a dream.
“You’re going to be late again,” Sheila called from the bathroom. “And Cindy needs you to check her math homework. We have that thing at the school tonight, don’t forget. Cam will be so disappointed if we aren’t in the first row. Hurry up, your oatmeal is getting cold!”
Simon rolled out of bed, the vision of the goddess meadow melting from his mind like a snowflake in the sun.
Lauren continues the Throwback Thursday series this week with a semi-rerun of an older set of questions (luckily, I don’t remember them because of OBS ~ old brain syndrome). We all wish Lauren good luck with her surgery next week.
1) When you were a kid, what were your creative outlets? As an adult, what have you created that you are most proud of?
I loved to draw and color and paint ~ I spent a whole summer around age 12 with a “how to draw a dog” book. I never did get any good at it, but I had a lot of fun. I also enjoyed sewing, embroidery, jewelry-making, and other crafts. My mom and I went through a candle-making phase. I didn’t write creatively that much back then, only for school really, but as a teen I got more into writing on my own.
As a young mom, I made scrapbooks, which I still have and enjoy perusing from time to time (my daughters do too). I also did a ton of needlepoint back then. Of course, now that I’m old, creative writing is the way I express myself best, though I still like to do crafts once in a while. The problem with crafts, however, is that (a) they tend to be spendy, especially beads and art supplies, and (2) they need SPACE, which I do not have an abundance of.
I’m most proud of the fact that I have written complete novels and self-published them!
2) Have you ever saved someone’s life? Did you ever witness someone’s life being saved? Did someone save your life?
Nope times three, though my ex saved me from an adrenaline shot to the heart during labor by remembering that I had issues with lying on my right side. If my OB had been there, I wouldn’t have begun passing out, but she was late, so…
3) Did you ever get lost as a child? How did you handle it? Do you get easily lost now?
I’ve never had a good sense of direction, but I don’t remember getting lost as a child. I probably stayed really close to home, or else rode my bike in a straight line and turned around. I have gotten lost as an adult, both walking and driving, and it really stresses me out. Now I use my GPS all the time and never try to second-guess it, which helps a lot.
4) Did you search out presents your parents hid from you? Did you get caught? Do you hide presents from family members as an adult? Are they ever found?
I don’t remember that this was ever a “thing” I did or that my kids did. I don’t need to hide gifts from anyone now except for Gatsby because he has a tendency to gnaw on the edges of boxes and rip up ribbons.
5) Do you have a special song that was sung to you by either of your parents? Did you sing to your children? (or pets) Care to share the tunes?
My dad was more likely to quote poetry or snippets of literature, and I don’t recall that my mom sang anything. I, however, sang all the time to my kids (unfortunately I have a terrible voice), and so they know all the old silly songs. When my youngest was around 8, her teacher asked if anyone knew “Henry the Eighth,” and she was the only one who did. Well, of course!
6) What’s something you were afraid of as a child? What is something you are afraid of as an adult?
I’ve never liked heights and in fact last night had a dream about having to stand so close to the edge of a steep drop that it made me dizzy in my sleep!
7) What do you wish you would have learned more about in school?
Everything! I love to learn.
8) Is there something outside of school you were so interested in you taught yourself about it as an adult?
For a while, I was watching a lot of tutorials on how to paint, but I’ve since lost interest.
9) What made you laugh most when you were a child? What makes you laugh out loud now?
I’ve always enjoyed wordplay and jokes that hinge upon the meaning of words and twists upon meaning.
10) What’s something from your childhood that helped to shape your outlook on life?
I was bullied for being fat and unathletic, which gave me an empathetic perspective toward anyone who doesn’t fit into society’s “ideals.” I’ve noticed that people who were attractive and popular as children struggle to accept or even tolerate those who are different from the norm, but that’s not the case with me.
I was also alone a lot as a child, both because we moved so much and because of my lack of skill at sports, which helped me develop a love for reading. I’m grateful for this as it not only was great for getting top grades, but also it smoothed over times in adulthood where I had no choice but to be alone.
The boys lost at sea Rise up from the dead, Pour over the ledge, And plead at our doors. Hold fast the chain– Do not fall for their games; They will steal your soul And inhabit your bones. They crave their freedom, But they must return To the watery depths, To the broken shipwrecks, And negotiate peace With their barnacled dreams.
Kaleidoscopic dreams Swirl down to the sea– Violet, sunflower, teal; Love and lust and need Are subsumed endlessly In a relentless stream.
Dew-frosted leaves Gift us a living evergreen Reminder of impermanency. As love’s summer heat Fades to autumn mystique, We watch our breath escape, Our illusions dissipate, And desperately lock down our dreams.
In a bleak November Across frozen skies, Comes the dragon rising Through silvered mists of time. His mighty wings rumble Past blackened branches, Faintly illuminated By tear-streaked moonlight.
Rain-kissed blossoms, Wake with pink petals unfurled, Craving a taste of the world. Memories fade, What-ifs begin to play, And bountiful gold floods the morning.