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3 Dream fragments: 8.3.15

August 4, 2015


I’m in a mall I used to know well, but barely recall the particulars of now. I keep thinking I’ve found an exit that will get me close to where my car is parked and/or the way I’ll drive home, but when I approach it, it’s not an exit after all, or I don’t recognize the section of the parking lot.

I’m lost.

= = =


Per her website, author Mary Johnson will be leading a writing retreat in New England that overlaps with AROHO. But the way things are worded is confusing, and people keep sending her messages of annoyance.

I would like to attend, but it seems like it would be just as much bother as AROHO. Anyway, it is also juried — would I even get in?

= = =


In a general store, I ask the woman at the counter for 2 crabs. She names 2 different kinds that they have available. I infer she’s saying I can have 1 of each; I say, “fine”. I wonder how we will all get along.

As she walks towards the kitchen area in back, she says, “I’ll just go over and fry them up!” I see her putting them in a skillet.

I want to call her back and protest. I didn’t intend for the crabs to be dead, nor would I eat them. I intended to talk to them.

But that would be crazy, wouldn’t it?

I’m confused by what I want, and what everyone else thinks is normal.




The mall I spent the most time at seems like it should be Fox Valley in Aurora. Or possibly Oak Brook, where we went as a treat not only when I was a kid in Glen Ellyn; after we’d moved to Naperville, I worked there as my first job. Oak Brook Mall is outside, though, and I always dream about inside malls.

Dreams set in malls tend to feel like they’re Yorktown.

When I think “mall”, in fact, Yorktown is always the one I picture first.

I’m stuck in my childhood? I need to find the way out?

{That’s definitely true, actually.}

= = =


The 2015 AROHO Retreat starts very shortly. I’m not going, and I feel conflicted about it.

Mary Johnson will certainly be at AROHO, not at home in New England leading her own writing workshop.

Community? I feel displaced from 2 communities? I don’t really know what I do want? I have mixed feelings about things that I know aren’t right for me?

Something geographical? I don’t belong in New Mexico right now, but not the Northeast either? I don’t belong with a group of other writers right now? I should stop looking for groups to belong to, especially if I (or my work) have to be ‘judged’ to be admitted?

= = =


I thought the 2 different kinds of crabs might not get along with each other, and I wasn’t sure how either of them would get along with me. As I ordered them, I realized, “hmm, I may need 2 separate tanks in the car, in case they’d fight. How are the logistics going to work?”

Dead crabs… made no sense. But eating them would be an abomination. Obviously I wouldn’t want that.

{I almost wrote} I’m a scientist! Of course I don’t want them to be dead! {But scientists often do want subject animals to be dead, or they are killed to further study them.}

I’m not actually a scientist. Well, sort of I’m not, and sort of I am, but it’s definitely not my job.



So, the job I wrote about in the context of the 7.31 dream… I’m not going to apply for it after all. There’s no way to make it be a Good Fit.

I feel sad about that.


Some part(s) of me still want to be a scientist, even though it’s not really a Good Fit philosophically, or morally.

I want to be a technical expert, and something science related seems likeliest… except that I’m not really similar to most scientists I’ve met.

I’m a poet.

I’m a mystic.

I’m a naturalist {curious observer}, but not a scientist.

I’m an artist and a photographer.

I’m… things I don’t have words for.

= = =

The malls I dream about are usually huge and sprawling; sometimes they’re the size of small towns. Maybe I keep dreaming about inside malls because they’re mazes of a sort: you have to know the floor plan to find your way around. And they feel familiar, but they aren’t.

I go round and round in circles, essentially, but I never… find the right door.

I’m trying to do the wrong thing, then, but what part of what I’m doing is the wrong part?

Malls are designed structures that allow people to do specific things. When I dream about malls, though, I’m not shopping, getting services done, or meeting people – I’m usually just trying to find my way out.

Maybe malls are Lawful to my Chaotic. Malls offer known paths to things… that I don’t want to do. And yet, the idea that I should be able to follow a path is familiar. ‘Normal’ people want to follow paths that have been blazed by long ago pioneers. But I’m one of those pioneer types, so paths are… some place I definitely don’t want to be.

Being a scientist is a path.

Being a technical expert is a path.

I want… something else. Something I can’t perceive, nor, yet, imagine. But a maze is a distraction.

How do I exit the maze?

= = =

A writing group or any other type of focused group is not helpful right now. Because they’re goal-oriented, and I have 0 ideas about what my goals might ever be.

I may be lost, I may be alone… but I need to be both.

= = =

I did eat part of a blue crab, once, under duress — I was staying with people who regarded them as a delicacy. For hospitality reasons, I could not figure out how to refuse and not cause offense. I would have infinitely preferred, even then, to talk to the crabs. In fact, talking to the crabs instead of talking to the people I was with would’ve probably been more enjoyable, more satisfying.

And yet, there’s something about Celtic myth and eating sacred animals that is niggling at the back of my mind. Or shamans maybe? I don’t know. I don’t like it.

Transformation though. You gotta make sacrifices. If you do stuff that’s not difficult and yucky and leaves behind everything you thought you knew, you can’t be Changed alchemically.


The very idea is revolting.

= = =

As usual, all questions, zero answers.

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