Saturday, July 19, 2008


Some dreams wake up with you. You feel them stuck in you, warm and in your gut, as you go throughout your day. I had a dream like that this morning. My alarm went off at 6:50, a reminder that in only a few days I’ll be back home where the mornings come far too quickly and the nights seem to always be too short. After I dismissed the buzzing and crawled back under the frog skin blanket, I felt my eyes close heavy.

In my dream he came home and we were together in Typewriter Grandma’s backyard. I showed him all my favorite places, but the yard was as I remembered it years ago. The paths that zigzagged up the back hill ran into rows and rows of unattended grapes and there wasn’t a chainlink fence to separate the forests of imagination and adventure from the neighbor’s yard. We named flowers together and he loved me as much as he knew how. He told me to be good and generous and kind; to always try my hardest and to keep improving. I promised him I would. It seemed so easy as we sat there in the garden together.

Then I woke up and started a day full of tension, high anxiety, exhaustion, exasperation, confusion, miscommunication, bottled emotion that became unbottled, burning, festering, and tears. And I thought of him, and thought of him, and thought of him. He kept reminding me to be good and generous and kind; to always try my hardest and to keep improving.

After taking Why? and Agreeada on the jet-ski (and earning the title of “the fun driver”) I found myself on a boat with two non-drivers and what felt like a zoo of 4 year olds. I tried to do my own thing, finish my book, stay out of the way, but I soon realized that I was needed and he told me just this morning to be good and generous and kind; to always try my hardest to and keep improving. I pulled the tube in. I wrapped towels around bodies so tiny I wonder how they work. I was slammed against a metal pole and cut my arm and was trapped between the floor of the boat and white, plastic tube and as much as I tried to be good and generous and kind; to always try my hardest and to keep improving, I found myself trying to push tears back up my cheeks and into my eyes and biting my tongue to keep from screaming. The ride was bumpy and I felt so angry at myself for falling short. Only hours before I had promised him in the garden that I would be everything I could.

And hours later I was crying because it was too hard.

I realized that is just how life is. We are always trying (and much of trying is remembering) and then we fall short. And we feel sad about it, and let ourselves get down. We give ourselves a few bruises and we let ourselves cry a few tears. And then we eat a peach in a grotto and let ourselves fall into a good book while the words wash away the bitterness and anger, and the sweet juice runs down our arms and chest until the sweet stickiness consumes us. Not the bitterness. And then we start over and make promises to Him and begin each day with brightness, until rocks fall and heaviness sets in again. Waves overtake us and jostle our frames against everything hard until at the time we think we’re about to burst. We’re saved.

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