>Dreaming has always been like refuge for me. Not night dreams, but day-dreams, idea-dreams, schemes and dreams, under-the-oak-tree sorts of dreams. Castles in the air. The dreams that left me doodling in the margins as the teacher concluded her instruction with, “Right, Sarah?” It’s true. Sometimes I still drift and have a hard time staying on track, in the lines, whatever you want to call it. Frankly, I’d just rather skip down the rabbit trail, and yes, I know that’s not practical.
It’s occurred to me that in spite of this dreamy jibber-jabber that can, on good days, congeal into thoughts and voices and opinions, its hard for me to own them out in the open. Maybe that’s why my dreams feel so safe. When I write, however, these voices come alive as dear to me as any in the real world and I must allow them autonomy. They push themselves onto the page, shatter my dreamy world, and seem altogether more assured than the person that wrote them or conjured them. Perhaps that detachment seems a little heebie-jeebie, but it’s there. And honestly, I think that’s what makes the writing, the words, the process such a gift. It is not of me, but it is in me and somehow it all works out.
That’s all a little mysterious sounding, isn’t it? Let me turn the corner. For all my fogginess I also like to break things down, pull them apart, understand why and know better for next time. So, here is my psychoanalytic self on my sacred dream world: tension is painful for me, and quiet, internal creation provides solace and outlet without bumping up against opposition. Awkwardness, I can handle because typically I can find a way to diffuse…normalize….what have you. Tension? Real, raw, in your gut kind of tension? H-a-t-e it. It makes me want to just close my eyes and tap my heels, crawl into a corner AND pull the covers over my head. All at once. Now, I understand this can make the whole vulnerability thing tricky. But who am I kidding? Vulnerability is just as hard for everyone in his or her own way. It’s one of those human things.
So for me? Sometimes I don’t get to hold the key to peace gates or make differences into similarities, or do dot-to-dots until everything makes its way into some bizarre and cosmic whole. I don’t get to be Suzy go-with-the-flow, iron it out, make a joke, smile real big, sing-a-song…because before I know it something that’s all sorts of dishonest might make it on that list, and I just wouldn’t be true anymore. And I think I desperately want to be true, don’t you?
So here’s to choosing sides, making boundaries, all the while mustering the courage to SAY what I’m thinking like my narrative voice that leaps out on the page with such candor and ease. Besides, tension isn’t always all bad. As my friend Hillary once told me in the throes of disquiet: “Sarah, tension can be loved when its like the passing note to the most beautiful, beautiful chord.” I don’t know where she got it and I think I was crying too hard to ask, but I am grateful she said it.
Thanks for reading my self-talk. I hope you can find yourself in it, too.