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Lusty Lady

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sleepless in Seattle

I have so many things I want to say, yet I feel the pressure of my last day in Seattle before I head home looming, even though it's 5:47 am. I woke up from a dream, I'm not even sure which one. Before I went to bed I was reading about the new book The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall and here's what he says about dreams in an interview (see also his FAQ):
Are dreams a form of storytelling? Yes, they are. Dreams are, like children's make-believe, a natural and reflexive form of storytelling. Researchers conventionally define dreams as "intense sensorimotor hallucinations with a narrative structure." Dreams are, in effect, night stories: they focus on a protagonist--usually the dreamer--who struggles to achieve desires. Researchers can't even talk about dreams without dragging in the basic vocabulary of English 101: plot, theme, character, scene, setting, point of view, perspective. The most conservative estimates suggest that we dream in a vivid, story-like way for more than six solid years out of a seventy-year lifespan. So dreams are definitely part of the evolutionary riddle of storytelling.
The last time I stayed in this guest room I had a dream and I thought it explained my whole world. Then, too, I woke up in the five a.m. range and I made a phone call and there was this synergy, I thought. We were dreaming about it other so it's meant to be. And now, back to the future, I'm torn between wondering if anything about that was meant to be or whether it's time just passed. Seattle and 2012 have forced me to keep questioning the meaning of those dreams, that connection that I was so reluctant to let go of, I clung to it with a death grip. Love, or what sometimes passes for it, will do that to you.

But now I'm flying home to this other kind of love, one that expands my world, infinitely, not limits it. It's still something I am getting used to, but that is such an essential part of my life, already. It's not that we are some grand cosmic greatest love of all. I don't think either of us tells ourselves that. It is beautiful and magical and special and also simple. There really isn't drama. The biggest "fight" we've had so far is over me wanting to know what kind of candy to buy him at a store and him wanting to tease me by making me guess. I don't have expectations or delusions, I don't think, but I certainly tell myself stories about our future, some of them grandiose, some that I hope will come true. I think the biggest difference between then and now is that I can play an active role in making them come true. I'm not just dreaming, I'm doing it. I'm doing everything I can to make sure I devote as much of myself as I can to our relationship, not because I "have" to or am worried that if I don't it'll fall apart, but because I want to. I like it. I like that when all hell is breaking loose in the rest of my life I know he will make me feel like it will be okay, and it makes the concept of home for me a little more expansive.

Being away from him has been harder than I thought it would be, but I'm grateful for that. Navigating my way to cities new and old, on buses, planes, trains and by foot, wandering and exploring and visiting and laughing with kids and adults and cats and dogs has been as eye-opening as exploring Oahu on my own. I love traveling, and I don't want the stresses of this trip to kill that wanderlust, but I think they have transformed it a bit. I've learned I can't do everything, I need breaks and rest and recuperation to recharge. I just got The Mindful Writer by Dinty W. Moore, of Brevity and other fame, at the wonderful Elliott Bay Books (I requested it and they got it for me in 2 days!) and am looking forward to learning from it:


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