My Dream World

If the eyes are the mirror to the soul, then dreams must be a conduit to a magical world where the soul dances freely without inhibition. I know through my own experience that dreamland is a stage filled with adventure where my character has a starring role. More often than not, my dreams are full of emotion where I express love and/or receive love from another. They are usually joyous and upon awakening, I linger in bed so that I can savor the images and carry the emotion with me throughout the day. I love the little flashbacks I get when I’m going about my day and I am busy with life. It’s a reminder to smile and feel the love that touched me during sleep.

There are times, however, when the dreams are less joyous and upon awakening, the images hover over me like a dark cloud. They follow me through the years like an obsessive stalker, threatening me, making me fearful that the fantasy will turn to reality. It’s hard to determine whether these dreams are precognitive or if they are just a reflection of my negativity at the time. I’ve had several of these dreams and the images are as vivid as the day I dreamed them. In one such dream, I am in my car, just leaving my office. I am driving across the parking lot and suddenly there is a spray of gunfire coming from various directions. It is the gangs who live in the neighborhood. I am extremely afraid and I duck down in my car, still accellerating on the gas. Then I am floating above and I look downward and I can see myself. I notice that my hair on the back of my head looks all matted and then I realize that I have been shot. I can see the blood and when my spirit realizes I have been shot, I am pulled back into my body. My heart is pounding really hard and it feels like it is going to explode out of my chest. I can’t see where I’m going but I keep thinking that I can make it to the hospital if I just keep going. I’m telling myself to just get out of the parking lot. Then I wake up and I am so sure that it is a warning. This dream caused me to be afraid to go to the office. It got to where I would hardly go in. I started taking all my work home, eventually, moving all of my stuff to my home and then quitting my business altogether. This dream still haunts me today and somewhere deep down inside I am fearful that I am going to be shot in the head either accidentally or by some crazed lunatic seeking a thrill kill.

But then there are the dreams that deliver messages of support and guidance from deceased loved ones. These are the dreams that leave an imprint on my heart and give me comfort when I feel my inner light start to dim. One such dream occurred When my husband and I first moved to Las Vegas. I was an unhappy, lost soul. My marriage was kind of rocky at the time and I felt like a total loser. I didn’t know what to do and I was experiencing such despair and loneliness. I had written in my diary how much I wanted to find a good job, and how much I wished that I could be more ambitious, less insecure, more successful and on and on. I was really having a pity party inside my journal. That night, after writing in my journal, while I lay sleeping, I received a visitor from the other side. It was my Papaw, my favorite person in the whole world and whom I missed so very much. He came to me on the familiar three wheeler that he named putt putt. I hopped on behind him and held onto him as he gave me a ride and we laughed and laughed. I knew he was dead, yet, I didn’t question how it was possible that we were riding around on the motorized three wheeler. In the next scene we are standing. He takes my hand in his and tells me not to worry that everything is going to be all right. I feel extremely sad, because I don’t want him to go and I am aware that he is leaving. Tears stream down my face and he disappears. I awake and I can still feel the flesh of his hand in mine and I know that things are going to be okay. I knew in my soul that it was more than a dream. This isn’t the first time he’s visited me, but as of today, it would be his last. That was almost fourteen years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. And you know what? He was right. Things turned out very good for me. My life fell into place after that visit. Maybe he didn’t think I needed him anymore and that’s why he hasn’t visited me again. Oh, but how I do still need him to tell me things will be okay.

I recall my dreams quite often. My husband, on the other hand, rarely remembers his at all. He thinks he doesn’t dream but I know better. My favorite dreams have a recurring theme and I’ve been having them for about twelve or thirteen years. I am always happy and in love. Each dream is different but the characters are the same. Sometimes I feel like my real life is trapped inside that dream and the life that the world sees is an imposter. Really, how do we know that life isn’t just one big dream and that reality doesn’t really exist? I know, it’s far fetching but it is food for thought. Anyhow, I’ll end this post now so I can go find my reality in my dreams.


Just Kiss Me

I was twelve years old when I received my first kiss. I didn’t have a boyfriend or anything, but I’ve always been boy crazy. So this first kiss wasn’t planned or expected but surprisingly and awkwardly, good.  It came about one day at a party thrown by three sisters whom I’ve known all of my life. We didn’t live in the same town but my mom drove over an hour so that my sister and I could attend the party. And besides, the mother of the three girls was my mom’s best friend. A win win for the kids and the adults.  I have forgotten many of the details of the party except for what led up to my first kiss.  All of the guests sat on the floor, forming a circle.  Yes, you guessed it. We were playing spin the bottle.  Every time someone spun the bottle and it landed on the opposite sex we had to kiss them.  I’m not sure if my spin landed on him, or if his spin landed on me, but either way, I was very glad it was him. His name is Ron and he is the cousin of the girls having the party, and I have always had a crush on him.  I thought he was very cute. One thing you need to know before I go any further is that I was a very extremely shy young girl. So, imagine how I squirmed inside when it was my turn to kiss a boy. There were some giggles and prompting from everybody to just kiss.  When it finally happened, Ron put his tongue in my mouth, which I was not expecting. It felt kind of funny and part of me was grossed out but another part of me liked it and so I kissed him back with my tongue and even though I was embarrassed, it seemed like we kissed for much longer than necessary. I have never forgotten that kiss and I think it’s why I like kissing so much today.  A kiss is not just a kiss.  It is so much more.

A kiss is so much more than just an expression of passion; a means to express love or a loving act.  There are countless different kinds of kisses, mother to child, husband to wife, friend to friend, pre-sex, post-sex and among different cultures kisses are used for different reasons and occasions.  Lets take Brasil versus the USA, two places I am most familiar with.  In the USA you go to visit your family.  It is the first time you have seen them all in upward of fifteen years.  You walk in the room, say hello to the group, sit down and start talking; it could have been just fifteen minutes since you saw them last and when ready to leave a brief wave and you are out the door.  In Brasil you go to see the family.  You just had dinner with them all last night but as you walk into the room they all stand, you are passed from person to person, a kiss (buss as the British say) is given on each cheek. The 3 or four hours later when leaving the complete process reverses itself.  Some cultures do not kiss as a greeting and in another it is a process to maneuver through whether with family or casual friends. But for women the kiss can still mean more.

For me, a kiss is more meaningful than sexual intercourse.  It is an expression of intimacy that connects you to another person more lovingly.  When two lovers kiss, they are expressing how much attraction they feel for one another. There are many styles of kissing; soft and tender or wet and urgent as an example.   I believe that couples who continue to kiss throughout their marriage maintain a passion that is lacking in so many relationships. So, if you think you don’t have a spark left in your relationship, start kissing your significant other every day.  And I’m not talking about a quick closed mouth peck on the lips or cheeks. I’m talking about open mouth, tongues learning to waltz with each other kind of kissing.  I promise, you will make your partner come to life and have him/her wondering what the hell has gotten into you lately.  It’ll be worth the effort and If I’m wrong, well at least hopefully you had fun trying.  Now go start kissing.


The Child’s Joy

You all have heard the terms ‘the joy of a child’ or ‘a child’s joy’.  We’re talking about that head thrown back, wide open mouth, eyes sparkling with exuberant joy.   I can remember my daughter Patty, about three years old, on a crisp cool fall morning  running in the wind.  Her white blond hair wispy around her face, flying in the breeze and her laughter light, crystalline floating past me as I watched from in the kitchen; a child’s joy at just being.  It is Christmas morning, I can smell coffee and hot sugar, maybe it is sweet rolls heating as Mom prepares breakfast.  The memory includes fingers to the lips to warn the younger one to be quiet as we tiptoe past the kitchen, a sneak peek at the Christmas tree to see if Santa came to our house is the goal and joy, an instant of happiness as we see the piles of presents under the tree; a child’s pure joy that the world is as we think it should be.

Whether experienced as a child or an adult, joy is usually a feeling that washes over us instantaneously. Although joy is associated with happiness, the two emotions vary slightly.  Happiness resides within us and is more of a conscious emotion. Either we choose to be happy or we don’t. Happiness is a state of contentment that lives within our soul.  Joy, on the other hand is experienced more spontaneously.  Joy occurs in specific moments of time and can be unexpected and spontaneous.  So, although G was describing her child running in the wind and experiencing joy at just being, what she was also describing was the joy she felt in watching her child from that kitchen window.  As humans, we are fortunate enough to be given the gift of joy just by seeing someone else experience it. An outburst of laughter, eyes widening with delightful surprise, a smile that reaches from ear to ear; these are all contagious and is called joy.  What a great gift to receive and to give to someone else.

These gifts can happen in the amount of time it takes to breath in and  breath out.  It seems inevitable that as we age, as our place in life changes, what triggers these mere breaths of joy will change.  There is even a place between the time the children are born, are growing and changing; through the time when they are adult and acting in adult ways that we no longer find any particular joy in their behavior.  Maybe this is natures way of sending us in a direction away from parenting and into our mid-life.  It would be very easy to let this place of no feelings of joy stay in control of us, but it is also easy to find ways into new places, new moments of joy.  At the age of thirty-eight I learned to dance; tango, cumbia, merengue,  ah the joy of music and dance.  At 42, I started using a camera finding, not just seconds but full minutes of joy and, finally, by 45 I was a grandmother and had come full circle learning once again what it means to watch a new life take flight.

For me, I will never know the joy of being pregnant, or watching my own child run past the kitchen window.  I will never know the joy of being a mother and sometimes, but rarely, I do feel a twinge of envy when I see a young mother with a toddler.  But I am not unhappy.  I find moments of joy in the simplest of things; a kiss from my husband, a hug from a friend, a postcard or letter in the mail, a smile from a stranger, spending time with my sister.  When I’m out on the dance floor moving my body to the beat of the music, joy permeates through to my soul. It is the only time I truly feel free and that feeling of freedom is the purest form of joy I have ever known.

Yes, that joy of a child can come to us in many forms.  Even as an adult we can feel it, never being limited in the possible moments,  that we can feel.  What we find harder is recognizing those moments, reveling in them, letting them flow and finally in remembering.  As an adult it is harder to remember to throw back our heads, open our mouths wide and smile, eyes sparkling with exuberance, letting the world share in our mere moment of joy.  Try it in that next moment. Show us your child’s joy.


the shaping of memories…..

This morning I read a blog post by a woman whose childhood memory returns to haunt her in her dreams.  It’s kind of ironic really.  Ironic in the sense that this first blog that you are reading now is in collaboration with another creative mind. Together, we decided that we would each write on the same topic within the same post, alternating paragraphs until we decide that the topic is complete and coherent.  It was determined that I would begin the first paragraph and she would choose the topic. She came up with two options, one of which is playing with childhood memories. So, it’s either ironic or it’s synchronicity playing out in my life so that I can feel inspired to write.

Actually this could be both ironic and synchronicity.   Ironic being, “Happening in the opposite way to what is expected, thus typically causing wry amusement.” and synchronicity being, “The simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.”.  In this case the synchronicity causing the irony perhaps.  Writing about this topic could go several direction; playing with memory using a childhood memory as the catalyst to make sense of today or  just playing around to have fun with a series of memories.  I have a feeling that no matter which direction we start out we will end up in the same place.  Possibly our memories of the past are what makes us who we are today.

I’ve always prided myself on having an excellent long-term memory, so it amazes me when I hear someone say that they can’t remember “that far back”.  My earliest childhood memory is around the age of one and a half years old.  How do I know I am this age?  Well, because my sister and I were born eighteen months apart and in the memory, I am the only child in the house.  I can vividly recall the layout of the livingroom. Mom and Dad were sitting on the ugly, avocado green couch made of vinyl and I am on the floor playing with a Mickey Mouse phone.  When the phone was dialed or a string pulled, (cannot remember which one  for sure) the voice of Mickey Mouse or Mickey Mouse friends such as Pluto, Donald duck, etc would speak.  I can see across the livingroom into the hallway which seems very scary to me. There is also a gas wall heater built into the wall.  I recall dad pretending that a call was coming in by making a fake ringing sound.  “Hello?  Oh, you want to speak to JarieLyn. Hold on.” Dad handed me the phone and put the earpiece up to my ear and I heard one of the characters talking. I’m not yet two years old so I can’t speak and I don’t know why I remember this, but I recall being really scared when I heard that voice coming through that toy.   My mind couldn’t grasp the concept that I was hearing a voice coming through this machine. I thought it was evil and when I looked across the room into that dark hallway, I felt an evil presence lingering there, waiting. Waiting for what, I do not know, but that is my earliest childhood memory or is it really a memory? Maybe it’s just a trick of the mind and I’ve carried that around with me for forty-seven years. Whether it’s a memory or not it is a part of me now. My mother used to tell me that I had a Herman Munster doll that I was terribly afraid of and I would start bawling anytime I heard it talk.

I wonder that what we think is memory of a time is actually a memory of being told about it when we are older.  I also can remember being around a year old.  I am in my bed which is in the kitchen, there is a curtain hanging down in front of the bed but I can see a person at the sink, in front of them is a bright window.  I clearly remember color and light and sound but I don’t know what age I am or who is at the sink.  I tell my mother about this memory when I am in my twenties and she says, ” well that must be Kingman, and you were around one.  How could you remember that?”  Now many years, nearly forty years later is it a memory of the time or just memory of an adult conversation?  I now put my grandmother at the sink.  Is this something my mother told or do I really remember?  If I think about the awareness of the world of a one year old; they are aware of hunger, have feelings of safety or security, and certainly have fear or in the least feelings of uncertainty when confronted with the unknown.   By one year old, if a stranger comes in close to kiss our cheek, we will cry knowing this is a stranger.  When would the awareness of fear or evil or an unknown presence actually occur?  I can definitely remember one of my brothers or sister being brought home from the hospital, but by then I am nearly 5 or six.  I remember riding a tricycle to school, this must have been kindergarten.  As I pass the age of five, I have many very clear memories and mostly happy ones.   Even if in the telling of them I realize they must not be happy times, I still feel myself as being happy within the memory. Do we tend to remember happy feelings for a longer time than unhappy ones?

For most people, I believe that the happy memories and the unhappy ones are equally balanced in shaping who we become.  There are exceptions of course, such as someone who is sexually and physically abused consistently.  In that scenario I think one would grow up dealing with many issues; trust, being prevalent amongst them.  Memories definitely play a major role in our attitudes and our likes and dislikes. For instance, every year I get so excited when it’s nearing Christmas time. I think the reason I welcome the holiday  is because I had so much fun as a child. My Christmases were always full of love and warmth and it meant I could spend some time with my grandparents, whom I loved more than anything.  Now, as an adult, even though I get excited, I am always disappointed because it just isn’t the same as when my grandparents were still alive.  But those are memories that live on in the heart and continue to guide me.


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