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Dream elements: 10.19.14

October 19, 2014

When I woke up this morning, the only part of my dreams I distinctly remembered was that Sofia Samatar was a character.

I noticed that makes 2 women with the initials S. S. in 2 recent dreams. I pondered again how I keep dreaming about people I know from Twitter (which actually makes sense because that’s where I meet most people these days).

Disappointed I couldn’t remember any other details; moved on with my life.


Looking at my shadow on asphalt, just now, showing the fluttering of the fun and floaty skirt I’m wearing, I suddenly remembered a fragment of a dream:

I was planning a trip back to Indianapolis. I was definitely going to stop in at Marigold [the boutique I bought this skirt at, some years back]. I also wanted to revisit other favorite places in Broad Ripple.

I bet René’s Bakery was one.

Oddly enough, Artifacts Gallery (where I worked for a year) was not, nor was the Indianapolis Art Center (where I took classes in all sorts of media, over many years).


I realized a few days ago that, from the comfort zone of living in Maryland, I can look back at Indianapolis, and love parts of it unreservedly. I never could do that when we lived there; I was afraid if I did, I would somehow be trapped there, unable to leave. But now that I’m gone, I perceive I could not have become the person I am now without long years in Indianapolis.

Illinois couldn’t have done it. Definitely Oklahoma couldn’t have done it. Even New York State couldn’t have done it. It had to be Indiana. It had to be Indiana at those times in my life — figuring out college. My internship. Finishing college, with honors and awards. Working at a bunch of places, none of which were quite right, but they all allowed me to explore aspects of my personality and interests. Coming back to Indiana, and finding DB at exactly the right time. Floundering around with no job. Learning how to live on almost-no-money all over again. Learning how to not be resentful about that necessity; realizing it could be an opportunity. Not knowing what else to do, trying college again, then grad school. Winning a fellowship, making amazing things possible. Getting a ‘dream job’. Paying off my debts. Saving gobs of money, allowing us to travel to places Spouse never dreamed about (but I had). Realizing slowly, reluctantly, neither grad school nor my dream job were ‘good fits’ after all. Existential crisis. Leaving both. Striking out into the world with no map, searching for the elusive “something more creative”. Prioritizing art as something I did. Beginning to think of myself as an artist, first. Finding pieces that I needed for a new kind of life, but with no idea how to put them together.


Why wasn’t I planning to revisit Artifacts? It was a beautiful place. There were many aspects of working there that I enjoyed.

There were also many aspects that I didn’t enjoy. I didn’t fit in socially of course (I never do). But what seems most relevant to the dream is blogging. The store had a website, which they didn’t use particularly effectively. Spouse thought I should suggest to them that they start a blog, and I could write it for them! I was already drawn to the idea of blogging, at some point, but I didn’t feel ready yet. And I could feel deep inside that . . . beginning to blog as part of a job would close all sorts of doors, creatively, for me. So I did not suggest it.

They did hire me to do more with their website. But they only offered me the same amount of money I was receiving to be a retail clerk. Every time I tried to raise the subject of how they should be paying me a lot more, they managed to not hear me. (The person who had previously done their website work was someone they really liked, and they did pay her a reasonable wage for doing the work. So they weren’t just cheap.)

I rarely think about anybody I knew there.

+ = +

Why wasn’t I planning to revisit the IAC? That seems murkier. I took classes there for probably 6, 7, maybe 8 years. The majority of my experiences were very good. Spouse taught classes there for several years, and really enjoyed doing so. I loved dropping in and looking around, which I did every time I was in Broad Ripple.

And yet. . . I took a sewing class there. MA, a coworker at Artifacts, recommended this specific instructor; everyone who took her classes loved them, and learned a lot, so I was really excited. I bought a sewing machine, and a bunch of supplies.

I would guess my instructor was an ESTJ; I’m an INXP. Not only was her teaching style ineffective for me, it was actually alienating. But I couldn’t bring myself to quit just because of that. Oh no. I had to stay until I injured myself; only then did I allow myself to drop out of the class. (Too late for any kind of refund, of course.)

= * ^

Why go back to Marigold? I bought a bunch of my favorite clothes there. But that’s not the reason.

Clothes from Marigold got me thinking about making my own clothes. Not the drudgery of fiddling with technical details (like the sewing class at the IAC), but the fun, creative ideas part: What if I took this dress and made it longer? Or shorter? Or wore it upside down, somehow? What else might I have done with these materials, so that they’d actually be ‘my style’?

Marigold seeded my imagination, freeing me to use it.


I have to do things my own way. That means that taking classes is . . . tricky. Too many fiddly technical details, too early in the process, and I start wondering why I ever thought this might be fun. I need to jump in, when I don’t really know anything. I need to get to know the materials myself, play with them, learn their flavor notes, before I can benefit from classes.

I need to already love doing whatever-it-is, before I learn how everyone else does it. Because it’s inevitably going to turn out that my own way will not resemble anyone else’s way, probably at all. If I love it, though, I can defend what I do, and why, from people insisting I need to do it some other way. If I don’t already love it, I can get squished by those people. [See: guitar lessons, oil painting, cooking, tapestry weaving, jewelry making, etc.]

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