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Catching a Dream

“Like seeing my dreams in the middle of the day”  -Hugo

I love dreaming.  Day dreaming, night-time dreaming, it really doesn’t matter to me.  I love the stories that unfold in my head.  It could be a carefree romance, heart wrenching drama, or terrifying horror.  Well, to be honest, I could do without the horror flicks.  It’s a bit like reading a good book, you just want to savour each tiny detail, each tingling touch.  The sensations linger like wispy clouds that float along the edges of my consciousness after I awake.  I am not one of those people who can return to their dreams.  Once I have woken up, the dream evaporates into my pillow leaving me slightly disconcerted and with a nagging feeling of loss.

If I were able to hold onto these dreams, what would I do with them?  Fill the blank pages of a book?  Perhaps direct them on the set of a movie?  What terrific dreams those authors and screen writers must have.  Their dreams unfold before their eyes.  They are able to hold them and nurture them and watch them grow from a wisp into a giant.

I have heard many times that today’s generation has no imagination.  They exist only in the false world of social media and multi-layered games.  It is destroying their brain cells, killing their ability to interact with one another.  I do not fully agree with that statement.  Yes, today’s child has access to immense amounts of information, they are able to team up with unknown people around the world through video games, and obliterate someone’s self-esteem with the push of a button.  This does not mean they lack the ability to dream.  This is their dreams.  I have heard my son yelling at the characters of his game much the same as my brother used to play with his mini cars.  They are not socially challenged.  They want people to join in.  Four, five in the same room all engaged in the same commotion.  Remember Monopoly, Risk?  These were board games that also required huge amounts of time to finish the games.  Technology is not squashing the imagination.  It is funnelling it into new streams, new dreams.

I wonder what dreams await me tonight.  Maybe it will include that robot from the movie I just finished or the romantic winter setting of my current book.  Whatever adventures linger on the fringes of my imagination are sure to turn into fascinating dreams.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Possibility of Abstract

Possibilities. The idea of what could be, might have been, or what was not. That’s what I’m afraid of, the whole wide realm of unknown that exists in that one ordinary word. It’s strange really. Who is afraid of a word? Yet the very cadence of it sends fear shivering up my spine. Take for example, a blankpage. Blank, begging for the touch of a pencil, the stroke of a pen. Blank, waiting to be filled with words, doodles, dreams. It’s a lot of pressure, really, placed on a single sheet of blank paper.

What about a day? Each morning begins with a wealth of possibilities. Is this a productive day or a lazy day? Will the sun shine or will the clouds take over? Perhaps this is the day that my life will crumble; perhaps this day the effort it takes to keep on living will overwhelm me. Perhaps this is the day that my life will suddenly make sense; perhaps this day will be a treasured memory. Possibilities.

The older I get the more possibilities frighten me. Every decision has a multitude of possibilities. There are a million avenues. Thousands of consequences to every move. I worry, am I making the right choices. Have I limited myself and the possibilities that are waiting for me to explore? I was recently told that I think in an abstract way rather than in a concrete way. I wondered what this person was thinking, clearly he didn’t know me well. Abstract things mystify and confuse me. Poetry is an abstract word form. The words to a poem seldom make sense to me. It’s as if an author strung together a sentence comprised of entirely random words. The very form of poetry itself allows for mangled spellings of common everyday and normally understood terms.

I chose this painting because I like the flow of colors. From lagasse.blogspot.com

There is abstract art. Another form designed to befuddle the human brain. These renderings rarely resemble any inkling of the original. Even with the artist’s caption, it is nearly impossible to understand what possessed the person to create something so baffling. Possibilities?

I decided to do a little research. After all, I clearly am a concrete thinker. I deal only with clearly understood lines and literal translations. Abstract thinking leads to far too many possibilities and possibilities intimidate me. To my surprise, abstract thinking has nothing to do with unknowns. An abstract thinker is one who is able to reflect and understand that everything has a wide variety of possibilities. The very exploration of the word “possibilities” labels me as an abstract thinker. A concrete thinker only sees the here and now. They do not analyse each meaning but rather accept everything for face value. A concrete thinker looks at his dog lying on the rug at his feet and thinks, “I love my dog”. An abstract thinker looks at her dog lying on the rug at her feet and ponders, “I wonder if all dogs are so lovable”. My daughter is a perfect example of abstract thought. She asks questions like, “Why do we have skin?” and “Why are there so many different meanings to just one word?”

Now that I understand possibilities much better, I am not so frightened by them. I relish the idea of making one choice, one decision, using one possibility. After all, there are a thousand other possible paths to follow if the one I selected doesn’t work out from me. They may lead to something scary or, possibly, something fun and exciting.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Your Friend or Mine?

My grandparents still together after 57 years. I hope to be sitting with my husband at the end of our years in spite of the trials of our life.

When my husband and I started having difficulties in our marriage, it affected every area of our lives.  He rarely called during working hours anymore.  He works long hours and is often not home at night so phone calls are our main means of communication.  Home time was spent with him in front of the TV or computer or other electronic device, I rushed around keeping the kids in line, using the opportunity to grocery shop without an entourage, or relax with a book in my bedroom.  Socially we started doing things separately from each other.  It was never a spoken agreement rather sort of a mutual consensus that he had his interests and I mine.  Without realizing it, friends became pawns.

This was glaringly obvious when I attempted to join him one weekend in a visit with one of our friends.  I had thought that this would be a nice way to reconnect.  We were leaving the kids at home and it was just the two of us going to visit with a couple who are easy to be around.  I was surprised, hurt, and more than a little angry when my husband tried to discourage me from coming with him.  This was his downtime and I was most definitely not invited.  I went anyway.  It was not one of my greater ideas.  It only emphasized the gap widening between us.

We often vacillated between friends and strangers, sometimes in as little as several hours.  Naturally with so much emotional intensity, each of us sought an outlet for our angst.  I turned to my mother for encouragement, sympathy, and the occasional scolding.  He talked with close personal friends.  Never once did I think about the aftershock that was sure to follow.  It came as a complete shock one afternoon when a dear friend would not speak to me.  Mystified, I was describing his odd behaviour to my husband during one of our amiable times.  A guilty look crossed his face and he confessed to confiding in great detail to this friend the extent of our marital discord.  Never before had I considered that we would lose our mutual companions.  I myself try to be impartial and recognize that there are always two sides to a story whenever I hear a disagreement.  I naively thought everyone did this.

This started a new chapter for me.  I became more conscious about who I talked to and how much I shared.  I focused more on my children and their friends.  I cultivated anonymous online friendships that required no personal information or input from me.  In short, I became shallow, only concerned with myself and my own feelings.  Deeply hurt by betrayal, I still struggle to fully trust my friends.  After all a friend is someone who makes life bearable and helps us over the bumps in the roads.  Friends are there to laugh with, empathize with.  They are a connection in this world of empty faces, the strings that tie each one of us to the other one.  They are that elusive feeling of belonging that each of us strives for it.  Can a broken person be a good friend?

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2012 in family, marriage

 

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When Prayer Isn’t Enough

I am first and foremost a stay-at-home mom.  Oh, I have other titles.  I am a bookkeeper for my husband’s small company, I am errand girl, I am secretary.  My actual job though is to care for my family’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
When one of my family members started to digress emotionally, it was difficult for me.  It was a huge blow when he no longer wanted my support or helpful analysis of his behaviour.  I couldn’t “fix” him.  Our marriage suffered and our kids became unsure and insecure.   The constant fighting and bickering was overwhelming and confusing to three children who had heard all their lives that mommy and daddy loved each other and would never, ever separate. 
 Then came that fateful weekend when everything smashed together, the moody silences, the screaming, the tears.  Both of us wanted out.  I was ready to call it quits.  Something I never thought I would ever say and even scarier, I was too tired to fight for our marriage any longer.  If he walker out that door, I doubt I would ever see him again, certainly our marriage would have ended.  Both of us stubborn and lost. Me, furious and emotional; him, calm and empty.  The lyrics to a song by Matthew West played over and over in my head, “I know I’m not strong enough to be everything that I’m supposed to be”.  I boke down sobbing, “Lord, I’m not strong enough.  I can’t do this”.   I had nothing left.  I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to.

 Prayer just wasn’t enough.

 In the end, he didn’t walk out the door, rather it was me who did.  I slammed my way outside and grabbed an axe determined to finally chop down those overgrown tree branches that I had been badgering my husband to prune all summer long.  I swung around, startled to find my youngest daughter had followed me outside, scared and worried that I was going to do something stupid.  She came offering a hug but wanting comfort.  I sent her away. 

 Frustrated, I turned my fury into hacking away at the lilac bushes.  They wouldn’t budge.  There was absolutely no way those spindley branches were coming down.  I flailed my axe in vain.  I was using the wrong tool.

By this time, I was beyond rational thinking.  I stomped into my backyard looking for a good stout tree.  In the silence of the snow covered yard with the moon shining brightly, I looked up at the star filled sky and begged God for help.  I didn’t get an answer.  There was no startling revelation.  I felt alone and confused and unloved, more upset than ever knowing that I had hurt my little girl too.

There in the black sky was the tiny formation of the Little Dipper.  I went back into the house and brought my little one out and pointed out the Little Dipper and the Big Dipper.  As she admired the stars, I realized that I would never stop fighting for my children, their right to a whole and complete family.  Things didn’t improve overnight, over week, or even over a month.  It was a start to a new phase, a new chapter, an intense painful chapter, our trial.  This is where my journey begins.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in depression, marriage, prayer

 

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