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Dream: 8.14.18

August 16, 2018

I’m carpooling with 2 middle-aged women in the early morning (much earlier than I would normally be awake, never mind doing things and being social), on our way to an educational conference-thing. During the drive, I recollect I was mailed an information packet which I forgot at home.

When we arrive, we split up.

I collect a new packet at the registration table. It’s 7:30 a.m., and the first events don’t begin until 8. I have time to grab coffee in the cafeteria, maybe a pastry, refresh my sense of why I’m here by reading the packet.

Except at the cafeteria, I’m hailed by a man sitting at a long table filled with people in some type of uniform. He says he wants me to be the lone woman in his group. I’m certain I see women at the table; also, I’m not a woman, but do I want to make an announcement to a tableful of strangers, still half asleep? No. So I sit with them.

He seems like he wants to know about me, but he doesn’t ask anything. I drink my coffee, eat my food, try to wake up. Wish I was sitting at an empty table, alone, reading my packet.


At some point, I’m aware that I was recruited to come to this thing. That someone wanted me specifically. Whatever the topic is isn’t within my usual cluster of interests, but it’s intriguing to be pursued.


At a different point, I enter an arched doorway, like for an abbey. No other people are around, the place is quiet, the air cool, the light filtered.

I think “Benedictine”. I smell something that evokes a full-body sense of welcome. (I hadn’t known my bodymind coded any smell as that.) I’m reminded of Glen Ellyn, but I don’t know why.

Unconnected to the conference-thing, the carpool, the people at the cafeteria table, but definitely entwined with this specific site — where I’ve never been before — I feel like I’m exactly where I should be.



Improvising is good, while “study” isn’t going to help.

Honoring my own preferences is good. (I would’ve answered questions, and probably been pleased with any friendly interest. But if you thought I’d smooth out possible social obligations based on perceived gender, I won’t.)

I followed my curiosity, and discovered a deeper welcome than any planned human gathering could’ve provided.


I perceive why “Glen Ellyn” could be part of feeling welcome — early childhood. “Benedictine”, though, is puzzling. I haven’t been Catholic in almost 32 years, and have no fond attachments to the buildings of my (Benedictine) high school. I was rarely in the nearby abbey, and I think I was never alone there.

There was no sense of  deity or ritual; it was more like… hidden alcoves, the sweep of space, not ever being able to know the whole history of it, that beckoned me.

Scholarship, maybe. But in my own wandering fashion. Sensitivity to place. Respect for limits of others and myself.



Dream: 8.13.18

August 14, 2018


Spouse and I were bobbing along in deep river water (not swimming, not treading water), watching critters in the water with us. I saw cool small fish… right before they were gobbled up by a bigger (yellow) fish, 3 separate times. That was sad.

I saw an (also upright, but fully submerged) bird shaped sort of like a penguin, but bigger. Spouse immediately recognized its sort by name (?!).

Later, where the water was much shallower, we were sort of dogpaddling, when we saw a whale’s tail, and it surfaced right by us. I was entranced, but Spouse was miffed.

The whole time, I regretted not having a notebook with me, and was hoping I could remember all the cool critters so I could write them down. I planned to sketch the penguin-bird.



Spouse, the driver, has stopped our car at a gas station, to replenish our fuel before meeting back up with my parents and assorted family members, so we can ‘travel in caravan’ to some further destination.

Then, we’re inside the building, chatting about nothing in particular, when Spouse pushes a button/pulls a lever and suddenly there are steps leading to a basement access, which he descends toward. A door opens, and he steps into a ‘cage’ as its filling with muddy water. He leaves (!).

{Within the dream} I understand this to mean that this is the way to ‘cross’ under the Lake, to where my parents are, on the other side. But… am I supposed to hold my breath in the water? How high does the water go? Does your head go under? Are you in the dark? What should I expect?

I can’t, I won’t, enter a watery cage without knowing any of that.

But with Spouse gone, there’s no one to ask. I dither.


Abruptly, the entire gas station starts moving, picks up speed. It’s become a train.

At first, my big issue is that we’re traveling so fast, by the time I figure out where we’ve arrived at, we might be 20, 50, even 100 miles away from my parents. Will that distance mean they will abandon me wherever I’m at? How much of a distance isn’t ‘too much’ bother to come meet me?

I discover that the train is actually on a route, so presumably, it’ll eventually arrive back at where Spouse and I encountered it. However, when? For how long?


Nightmare begins:

I will have to call someone for help.

I pull out my phone, and — as always happens in a dream like this — I cannot get the phone’s number pad to appear. (Nor my phone’s contact list.)

I go through anything and everything, trying screen after screen, but no number pad. (This lasts a looooooong time.)

I go searching for someone else, find people seated as if this really was a train. I sit down next to a woman in her 20s, with curly brown hair. I tell her a bit of my issue, she plays around with my phone, too, but it doesn’t work for her either.

A boy walks by, 12, 13, talking (via headset) to friends in a farther compartment. I stop him, figuring he’s tech-savvy; he exchanges seats with the woman. I introduce myself, explain my problem.

He works on it a while, confers with his friends. Everyone’s stumped.

I confide in them that actually reaching my parents will be highly unpleasant, as they will heap insults on my head for being ‘so stupid’. I explain I’m actually quite smart, except for this blindspot with my phone.

A short smiling woman with short white hair, looking to be maybe 5-6 years older than me, approaches me to tell me my (new) short haircut looks really good on me. I thank her, pleased. (I realize for a quick second that I could really savor the comment, the lovely positive feedback, if only I wasn’t in the midst of this crisis.)

Later still, a guy in his 60s in a sharp suit, comes by and wants to help. He works in some high-tech security-related field.

At one point, my phone expands into tablet-sized, and all 4 of us are peering at the screen’s wonders. But still, no numbers.

Finally, finally, I give up on all this, and, defeated, ask to borrow someone’s phone. The security guy offers his.

I explain to him, too, how dreadful hearing from my parents is going to be. I’m shaking with nerves. (I internally wonder if giving him Spouse’s number is a bad idea — will it put Spouse on a list somewhere — but realize everyone is probably on a list somewhere. In any case, I really need to talk to someone I know, so…)

I can’t remember Spouse’s phone number, type in something starting with 669. Realize that’s not it. Consider (only for a few seconds) calling my parents. Then I take a deep breath, and type in the correct number for Spouse.

The security guy’s display shows the call being connected, with a visual display of its route. I only recall one leg — it reached Oklahoma City. It seemed to be taking a really long time to connect, but looking at the display was the first thing (since seeing the water critters) that made me feel interested and engaged, that made me feel like myself.

I woke up.



Spouse and I are re-watching season 1 of Stranger Things, so that’s likely a proximate reason for this dream. But also, the trilp.


I feel myself when I’m observing my environment, when I’m noticing my neighbors big and small.


When I’m unexpectedly left alone, (in the dream) I don’t observe my situation and experiment. No, I turn to a device, to technology, but not to address my immediate issue.

I try to reach out to people who are going to scream at me, first; not ask me what’s going on, or how they can help; and definitely not people who would encourage and affirm my choices.

Why am I so afraid of assessing where I am? What do I want to do next?


It’s almost like… when I’m uncertain and scared, if I’m not being screamed at, I… lose confidence in my abilities to assess, experiment, improvise.

Meeting challenges skillfully is not at all why I’m useful to my family of origin {I almost wrote, “…is not why I’m valued and appreciated”, but hahaha, that’s crazy talk}. I’m useful as a bad example, that everyone else feels superior to. I’m not supposed to succeed at anything.


What’s going on in my life that makes these kinds of dreams recur?


Maybe I’m on the cusp of a creative breakthrough, but I’m unconsciously afraid to follow through with the daring leaps required because that would explicitly mean I was relying on my own judgment?

Reading List 8 of 2018

July 31, 2018

Covers the period from 7.10.2018 through 8.1.18


I own 7 of these items. I watched 1 item in the cinema/on Netflix/Amazon/HBO/YouTube/ Vimeo. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 4 of the books and movies. Libraries outside of Baltimore County, via Inter-Library Loan, supplied the other 28 items.





Pacific Northwest:


  1. Art of the Northwest Coast by Aldona Jonaitis {FN-various}
  2. Growing Pains: An Autobiography by Emily Carr
  3. The Hidden Forest: The Biography of an Ecosystem by Jon R. Luoma
  4. Native Peoples of the Plateau by Krystyna Poray Goddu
  5. Theodore Roethke: The Garden Master by Rosemary Sullivan
  6. The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland by Robert Michael Pyle
  7. The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing by Richard Hugo
  8. William Stafford | Crossing Unmarked Snow: Further Views on the Writer’s Vocation, ed. Paul Merchant and Vincent Wixon



Ursula Le Guin:


  1. Sixty Odd: New Poems
  2. [SFF] A Wizard of Earthsea
  3. [SFF] The Wild Girls plus…



PNW Poetry:


  1. Cry of Time: Poems by Hazel Hall [1928]
  2. Day and Night: Poems by Dorothy Livesay [1944]
  3. Deep Down Things: Poems of the Inland Pacific Northwest, edited by Ron McFarland, et al.
  4. Harsh and Lovely Land: The Major Canadian Poets and the Making of a Canadian Tradition by Tom Marshall [1979]
  5. The Holding Hours: Poems by Christianne Balk
  6. Poems for People by Dorothy Livesay [1947]



Information science:


  1. Crash Course in Cataloging for Non-Catalogers by Allison G. Kaplan
  2. Metadata by Jeffrey Pomerantz






  1. 180 More Poems, selected by Billy Collins
  2. A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre
  3. Break the Glass by Jean Valentine
  4. Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
  5. The Cooke Book: A Seasoning of Poets, ed. Michael S. Glaser [Maryland]
  6. The Earth Is Not Flat by Katharine Coles
  7. On Poetry by Glyn Maxwell
  8. Your Native Land, Your Life by Adrienne Rich





  1. Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus
  2. The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette Kowal
  3. The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster
  4. The Litany of Earth by Ruthanna Emrys
  5. Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys {read 2x}
  6. Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys
  7. The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
  8. Witchmark by C. L. Polk
  9. [TV] Stranger Things, season 1 & season 2




  1. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  2. The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle
  3. [Graphic novel] The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  4. [YA] Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson



Reading List 7 of 2018

July 5, 2018

Covers the period from 6.15.2018 through 7.1.18


I own 1 of these items. I watched 3 items in the cinema/on Netflix/Amazon/HBO/YouTube/ Vimeo. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 7 of the books and movies. Libraries outside of Baltimore County, via Inter-Library Loan, supplied the other 15 items.



Baltimore & Maryland:

  1. Baltimore ’68: Riots and Rebirth in an American City, edited by Jessica Elfenbein, et al.
  2. [Film] Hairspray, directed & written by John Waters
  3. Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew by Jules Witcover


Cultural change:


  1. The Golden 13: Recollections of the First Black Naval Officers by Paul Stillwell
  2. The Good Girls Revolt [Newsweek Title VII case] by Lynn Povich
  3. Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage that Made a President by Betty Boyd Caroli
  4. Near Black: White-to-Black Passing in American Culture by Baz Dreisinger
  5. Recollections of My Life as a Woman: The New York Years by Diane Di Prima
  6. [Fiction] If We Must Die: A novel of Tulsa’s 1921 Greenwood riot by Pat M. Carr


Biography & Memoir:


  1. Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-town Obituary Writer by Heather Lende
  2. Fire in My Soul: Eleanor Holmes Norton by Joan Steinau Lester
  3. One Page at a Time: On a Writing Life by Pat M. Carr



  1. Emma, directed & written for the screen by Douglas McGrath
  2. Hayao Miyazaki’s Cosmologics by Adrian Randall
  3. Obit: An Inside Look at Life on the New York Times Obituaries Desk, directed by Vanessa Gould
  4. Pride & Prejudice, directed by Joe Wright
  5. The Princess and the Frog, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements
  6. Wreck-It Ralph, directed by Rich Moore
  7. [TV] Mozart in the Jungle (part of season 4), created by Alex Timbers, et al.




  1. Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
  2. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
  3. Penric’s Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold
  4. Tarnished City by Vic James




  1. Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians* Talk Faithfully about Racism by Carolyn B. Helsel
  2. Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors, 1885–1965, edited by Alice Strang
  3. Twilight Children: 3 Voices No One Heard Until a Therapist Listened by Torey Hayden



*I am not Christian


Reading List 6 of 2018

June 11, 2018

Covers the period from 5.22.2018 through 6.11.18


I own 4 of these items. I watched 8 items in the cinema/on Netflix/Amazon/HBO/YouTube/ Vimeo. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 4 of the books and movies. Libraries outside of Baltimore County, via Inter-Library Loan, supplied the other 18 items.




  1. A People’s History of Chicago: Poems by Kevin Coval
  2. [Video] The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: poet Kevin Coval
  3. The Chicago Review of Concretism, edited by Eugene Wildman [1967]
  4. Lorraine Hansberry: Playwright and Voice of Justice by Catherine Scheader


Cultural Criticism, Intersectional:

  1. A Beautiful Ghetto [Baltimore City] by Devin Allen
  2. I Am Your Sister: Collected & Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde, edited by Rudolph P. Byrd, et al.
  3. The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit
  4. Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett
  5. [Video] The Adorkable Misogyny of The Big Bang Theory, by PopCulture Detective
  6. [Video] The Complexity of Geek Masculinity on The Big Bang Theory, by PopCulture Detective



  1. American Decade: 68 Poems for the First Time in an Anthology, edited by Tom Boggs [1943]
  2. As Ten, As Twenty by K. Page [1946]
  3. Contemporary Lithuanian Poetry, edited by Inara Cedrins
  4. Heart and Perimeter by Linda Bierds
  5. The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems, 1987–1992 by Audre Lorde
  6. Nine Horses by Billy Collins
  7. Trans by Hilda Raz
  8. Tributaries by Laura Da’ {FN-Shawnee}
  9. Twelve Clocks by Julie Sophia Paegle
  10. World Poetry: “Evidence of Life” by Paula Johanson



  1. The Conspirator, directed by Robert Redford
  2. Desperately Seeking Susan, directed by Susan Seidelman
  3. Hairspray, directed & choreographed by Adam Shankman
  4. Take Me Home, directed by Sam Jaeger
  5. Words & Pictures, directed by Fred Schepisi
  6. [TV] Good Girls Revolt, created by Dana Calvo
  7. [TV] OITNB, episode 1, created by Jenji Kohan


Biography & Memoir:


  1. Enemies in Love: A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance by Alexis Clark
  2. Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance by Lewis Ellingham and Kevin Killian
  3. The Same River Twice: A Memoir by Alice Walker
  4. Singer’s Typewriter and Mine: Reflections on Jewish Culture by Ilan Stavans
  5. What’s Your Favorite Color? by Eric Carle and Friends



  1. The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell
  2. [SFF] The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer



Reading List 5b of 2018

May 17, 2018

Covers the period from 4.19.2018 through 5.17.18


I/we own 13 of these items. I watched 4 items in the cinema/on Netflix/Amazon/HBO/YouTube/ Vimeo. Baltimore County Public Library system supplied 10 of the books and movies. Libraries outside of Baltimore County, via Inter-Library Loan, supplied the other 18 items.



Poetry collections:

  1. 2Fish by Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo
  2. After the Point of No Return by David Wagoner
  3. Breakwater by Catharine Savage Brosman
  4. Call and Response by Forrest Hamer
  5. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
  6. Happinesswise by Jonathan Bennett
  7. Honeybee by Naomi Shihab Nye
  8. Intervale by Betty Adcock
  9. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  10. The Logan Notebooks by Rebecca Lindenberg
  11. Mosquito & Ant by Kimiko Hahn
  12. Nature: Poems Old and New by May Swenson
  13. Northern Spy by Chase Twichell
  14. Refuge of Whirling Light by Mary Beath
  15. Seed in Snow | Sēkla sniegā by Knuts Skujenieks, translated from Latvian by Bitite Vinklers
  16. Theories of Falling by Sandra Beasley
  17. Upgraded to Serious by Heather McHugh


Poetry anthologies:

  1. 2018 Pushcart Prize XLII, edited by Bill Henderson, et al.
  2. Contemporary Asian Australian Poets, edited by Adam Aitken, Kim Cheng Boey & Michelle Cahill
  3. The Human Experience: Contemporary American and Soviet Fiction and Poetry [1989]
  4. Poets & Players, edited by Ann Baxandall Krooth [1976]




  1. Blueprints: Bringing Poetry into Communities, edited by Katharine Coles
  2. The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis by David E. Fishman
  3. The Given and the Made: Strategies of Poetic Redefinition by Helen Vendler
  4. Miłosz: A Biography by Andrzej Franaszek, edited & translated from Polish by Aleksandra Parker and Michael Parker
  5. The Practice of Poetry, edited by Robin Behn & Chase Twichell




  1. The Armless Maiden and Other Tales of Childhood’s Survivors, edited by Terri Windling
  2. Call of Fire by Beth Cato
  3. Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee {author is autistic}
  4. The Trespasser by Tana French


Marvel Universe Films:

  1. Ant-Man, directed by Peyton Reed
  2. Avengers: Age of Ultron, written & directed by Joss Whedon
  3. Captain America: Civil War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
  4. Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Jon Watts


Other Films:

  1. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, written & directed by Alexandra Dean
  2. The Dish, directed by Rob Sitch
  3. The Fabulous Life of Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun, directed by Arnaud Xainte
  4. High School Musical, directed by Kenny Ortega
  5. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, directed by Jake Kasdan
  6. Pride & Prejudice, directed by Joe Wright
  7. Sense & Sensibility, directed by Ang Lee



  1. The Art of the Handwritten Note by Margaret Shepherd
  2. Common to this Country: Botanical Discoveries of Lewis and Clark by Susan H. Munger
  3. Living with Plants: A Guide to Indoor Gardening by Sophie Lee
  4. The Three Marriages by David Whyte



Reading List 5a of 2018

May 16, 2018

Covers the period from 4.19.2018 through 5.16.18


I own 2 of these items. Libraries outside of Baltimore County, via Inter-Library Loan, supplied the other 10 items.

First Nations’ focus; {Women}


Poetry collections:

  1. Billboard in the Clouds by Suzanne S. Rancourt {Abenaki}
  2. Cell Traffic by Heid E. Erdrich {Ojibwe}
  3. Combing the Snakes from His Hair by James Thomas Stevens {Mohawk (Akwesasne)}
  4. The Droning Shaman by Nora Marks Dauenhauer {Tlingit}
  5. In the Presence of the Sun: Stories and Poems, 1961–1991 by N. Scott Momaday {Kiowa}
  6. Milk Black Carbon by Joan Naviyuk Kane {Inupiaq}
  7. Streaming by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke {Cherokee–Creek–Huron}
  8. What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned by Sherman Alexie {Spokane–Coeur D’Alene}


Poetry anthologies:

  1. Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, edited by Allison Hedge Coke {Cherokee–Creek–Huron}
  2. Songs Are Thoughts: Poems of the Inuit, edited by Neil Philip, illustrated by Maryclare Foa
  3. Walking on Earth & Touching the Sky: Poetry and Prose by Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School, edited by Timothy P. McLaughlin



  • Atlas of Indian Nations by Anton Treuer