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more musing on the latest 3 (dreams)

November 23, 2014


I’m a conceptual artist, so, in a sense, my life is my art. I write to be naked — everything I am is on display, hairy legs and all.

The Annapolis angle is trickier, although it seems to involve power. Does it mean I am or should be confident, even in the company of people seemingly more important than myself? Does it mean I belong in a place of power?


I don’t think I’ve ever had a night with 3 dreams that had geographical references in them. That they are all places in Maryland must be significant.

The paying job I had the most hopes of (although those hopes were not realized) was with an environmental agency for the state of Indiana, in the capital city of Indianapolis. I was still hopeful of a career in an environmental field in 2010 when I volunteered with an environmental agency for the state of Maryland, in the capital city of Annapolis. The MDNR did offer me a job which I accepted prematurely; the terms they insisted on I could not possibly agree to. At the time I felt I had to burn bridges to leave.

Since then, I’ve attended some environmental conferences, and have usually felt like I belonged . . . as long as I’m not talking with anybody. The minute I get social, I have to worry I’ll be ‘exposed’ as someone who doesn’t belong. Wait a minute.

Have I been worrying about the wrong thing? Or thinking about power so narrowly that I assume everyone else has it, but I don’t? When, maybe, I have my own power.

= + *

I’m continuing to try to figure out the “grad school” issue, both from the earlier set of dreams, and related to a blog post I saw (via Twitter) from a woman who is trying to break into IT as a self-taught coder, but as soon as anyone finds out she’s not in school, she can’t get an internship, or get hired.

I don’t have a master’s degree, and I’m not planning to get one. I have thought about applying for internships anyway. But figured they’d probably be even more annoying than volunteering has been.

The best part of graduate school, hands down, was the fellowship money. I had to use it for educational expenses only (or else, pay taxes on it). For the first time in my life, I was required to prioritize my own learning . . . and I had the resources to do that however I wished. No obscure textbook was too expensive! Laptop replaced with a model with more memory! Expensive proprietary software! Sure I can attend your conference!

Other people seem to accomplish amazing things when they collaborate. I have collaborated . . . but only with visual artists: I commissioned 2 jewelry artists with seeds of design ideas, and they used their tools and materials and expertise to bring them to life. I’ve also collaborated with Spouse, as a stylist of sorts for his photo sessions. I’m pleased with how everything turned out, but those kinds of collaborations . . . don’t go anywhere. They don’t become partnerships. And they are definitely not amongst the projects I would say I’m the most proud of, which are all solitary projects. (Or at least, the entire project might’ve involved gobs of people, but my portion was something I did on my own, the way I wanted to do it.)

Maybe looking for projects to collaborate with people on has been . . . misguided?



In the dream, the oldest woman was actually around 60, not late 60s, but I changed her age when I blogged about it because otherwise her daughter’s age didn’t work. But . . . what if the “daughter” was really a younger clone? In the dream, the older woman had definitely had an affair with a man that could have produced the Japanese woman (although, again, certain details don’t add up).

But what if the point of all of these characters was not their ages and ethnicities, but instead was . . . whether they arose out of asexual or sexual reproduction?

Because at the end, when I saw the older woman on the float, she had somehow succeeded herself. Could that be that she had attained a higher level of development? After all, I somehow knew she was (now) asexual. What if that wasn’t a reference to her sexual orientation, but instead a reference to how she came into being? Metamorphosis, like a butterfly from a caterpillar.

If the 50-something woman was actually her clone, then she herself wouldn’t have ordered her made. Someone else would have made that decision, when she was still a child. And maybe the clone didn’t measure up: was too timid or retiring. So then, as an adult, the older woman had an affair with a man who might be a suitable father to her heir. (I can’t figure out how she wouldn’t have known there was a baby — but if this is sci-fi enough for human clones to be involved, I suppose Bujold’s uterine replicators can’t be far behind.) The genetic testing results were being given up on that dais in the Annapolis hotel as if they were all in a TV reality show, and maybe they were. Surely that whole setup wasn’t the older woman’s idea? Someone else behind the scenes was pulling the strings.

Until she somehow gave birth to herself. And traded in her nondescript clothes for something more complex, visually arresting, and impossible to describe properly.


I definitely have versions of myself that other people have liked better than the version I am now. The further I distance myself from what other people wanted and expected of me, the better I feel, and (I think) the more interesting my work is.

Maybe my molts include casting off ~ old relationships with others, outdated expectations for myself, and other people’s ideas of my suitable roles for me? My destiny unfolds through me.



{I know dreams about my mother are not about my real-life mother, but criminy, could the character who assumes her form in my dreams stop terrorizing me anyway?}

What aspect or persona of mine is my POV character in dreams like these? She was required to do Herculean tasks that could have been done by . . . Hercules (which she clearly wasn’t), or with the help of Rumplestiltskin’s magic (which she didn’t have available).

Some part of me is demanding of a different part tasks that are clearly impossible. And then when that part cannot do them, that part is being punished: getting evicted from its space; its autonomy compromised; no friends or allies anywhere. The only suggestion offered is . . . something that requires a long-term commitment to stay in one place; regular assignments on someone else’s timetable and to someone else’s satisfaction; and will get increasingly expensive over time.

I was able to make real-life college work the best . . . after I was married. It often felt like I was mostly working full-time to pay for my books and part-time-school habits. I did eventually finish, with honors even, but it was brutal. Grad school was worse yet (albeit shorter).

One of the practical considerations helping me decide to drop out of grad school was . . . the resources it was requiring that I couldn’t use for anything more appealing.

What thing or activity or project somehow never seems like I have time to start? Or the ‘right kind’ of energy? Or ‘enough’ money?

  1. Yoga for my inner core. (Meant to start it this weekend. Didn’t. Again.)
  2. Writing about Chesapeake Bay. My sense of smell. Synesthesia. Great-great-great Grandmother Proto-Rat. My inner alligator. Why I’m a rosebush.
  3. That writing weekend at a B&B I’ve been thinking about (but never following through on) for an entire year. Other solo travel.
  4. Sculptural poems. Fractal-dimensional poems. Spatial poems.
  5. Modular garments.
  6. A bed covering of my own design.
  7. Something fiddly with yarn.
  8. Cooking my way through the GF cookbook.
  9. Playing with tastes and smells to create food I want to eat. {{No recipes!}}
  10. Terroir makes human beings “tasty”
  11. “Filthy, fecund, and fearless”

How come in 5 minutes — off the top of my head — I can come up with 11 things? That means there’s more, a lot more. Dammit.

{{Writing this 1 post has taken more time than the other 2 combined. It’s taken all day. With frequent procrastinating breaks.}}

Why is this stuff impossibly hard to get started on? I want to do it. I have time to do it. I generally have the resources to at least begin.

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