Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Nick and I went to fiber fair today.  We saw all types of yarn and tools for knitting, spinning, weaving and all sorts of other things.  Yarn-producing animals were there too.  The llamas are so strange and mystical looking.  They have eyes like you would expect to see on a Disney character.   There were lots of sheet and goats as well as a few huge rabbits that produce angora wool.

Oh my oh my.  I felt like a kid in a candy show (so what if it’s trite, it works for me).  I want it all.  I want all of the beautiful yarn.  I want to spin and to weave- even though I don’t know how.   The colors, weights, textures and even the smells of the various yarns were intoxicating.  There were even soaps made from sheep and goats milk.

Nick commented on how “nice” the alpacas smelled.  They have a sort of sweet smell.   He speculated that a farmer might actually get to know his animals by the scent.  He might be able to tell if something is “off”, and the animal is sick.   I suspect there is some of this although I think that it is most likely not something that the farmer is conscious of.

I know that all of my kids smell different.  Now I am just sounding like a weirdo.   But it is true.  I am sure on some primal level we know our child’s scent as a survival thing.

I will always remember the first time I held Morgan after he was born.  He had this wonderful smell.  I held his head near mine and breathed him in.  I am sure he knew me by my scent too.  And then this magical thing happened.  We both started to sort of “hum” in tune with each other.

Ok, so now, back to the subject of what I am writing here.  Dreams.   As we were driving home from the fair, Nick and I spoke about our dreams.   The dream of owning a farm where Nick builds things and I weave and knit and sew and act out all of my creative, artists fantasies.  I am overwhelmed by how much I want to do in my life.  I feel such that a huge part of me is this creative self that is trying to jump out of my skin and do it all.  I need more time.  I need to live and be healthy for at least another hundred years.  I feel that I will never, ever be done.

But, I told Nick, I feel that it is too late and I am not realistically going to realize many of my dreams.  Nick said he doesn’t feel that way at all.  I am not sure what that means.  Am I a pessimist and he an optimist.  Or is he a dreamer and while I am more practical and realistic.  I don’t know.

Nick asked me what my dreams are.  I already wrote about the some of my artistic dreams; knitting, weaving, sewing, quilting.  (I haven’t even started on my passion for photography).   But the dreams that I am pretty sure I will not realize are more on the professional level.  I have wanted to be a doctor since I was 9 years old.  My Uncle Ralph was an orthopedic surgeon and the coolest guy alive.   He was handsome and kind.  He had a cabin and a boathouse and he took us fishing and water skiing.  And he saved peoples lives.   I wanted to be like that.  Not the fishing part, but the helping people and saving lives.  I was passionate about it. 

In high school I read about women who became my heroes like Marie Curie and Elizabeth Blackwell and Susan B Anthony.  Even my own pediatrician was a woman- unusual in the 60s.

When I started college at the University of Maryland in 1972, I signed up for an 18-credit load in pre-med courses.   And I failed at most of them miserably.   I was overwhelmed.  I was lost in the crowd.   I went from being a star student in high school in a very small class, to one of the masses in a huge school.  There were 300 people in my lectures.  There were only 55 students in my whole high school.  I was in way over my head.

On top of that, I was living out of my mom’s home for the first time in my life, and, I was an 18-year-old newlywed.   I thought I was such a grown up, but I didn’t even know how to be a kid.   The other “girls” my age were patronizing when they found out I was married.  They would ask, “Oh do you have to ask your husband permission” for whatever we were doing.   Poop, and shame on them all.

Ok, so I am not a doctor.  Several times over the years I have thought of trying again.  But first I had to graduate from college, which I did just after my 50th birthday.   

My other dream/ fantasy was that, since I was a young hippie, I would grow older as an older hippie.  I envisioned myself as a gray haired woman with long braids and wearing worn out overalls while raising goats.  I had romanticized it so much; I figured it must at least be a possibility.  Until I tasted goat milk for the first time.  Yuck.  I hate the stuff.  Oh well.

So here I am, 58 years old still wondering what I want to do when I grow up.  I suspect this is not uncommon among baby boomers.

So now I sit and dream about cleaning the house (a very Zen thing to do by the way) and maintaining a beautiful garden and yard.  Well, the cleaning thing is going pretty well.  It would be even better if I were the only one making the house dirty.  But I share the house with a husband, son, three cats and now a puppy.

As for the garden, well, I still love the idea of a garden.  I have grown small vegetable gardens with the kids.   I love fresh food grown by my own hand in dirt that I have dug.  But wait.  I hate the bugs.  I am not crazy about heat.  I am allergic to poison ivy.   So, in the spring, I put a few plants in the ground and I care for them.  I make sure they are watered and fertilized.   Then the days get hotter and buggier and I surrender the garden to the elements.

So this brings me back to the question.  What are my dreams?  Will I ever get to accomplish them?  Have I already accomplished much of what I need to in order to be the whole person I am, or should feel I am?   What else do I want to do?  What will I put my efforts into doing?   

Maybe I should write a bucket list.  I have a bit of a bucket list that rattles around in my head.   I really want to go back to every place we have lived overseas and when possibly, go back to the houses we lived in and knock on the door.  I want to see and feel my presence there.  Not to relive the time there as much as acknowledge that I have been in these places and spaces.  That my hand has touched the front door, or that I have walked and breathed in these spaces.  It is a sort of time travel/ spiritual journey I want to go on.

After my mom died, I went to visit Portland, Oregon (and Courtney who lives there).  I went to the house my family lived in when I was born.  I knocked on the door and introduced myself.   Nick and Courtney were with me.  They wanted nothing to do with it and went off for a walk.  I felt my mother and father in that house.  My mother looked out that kitchen window into that back yard.  She was there.  I was there though I was a baby and I cannot remember. 

I have written way more than I expected to tonight.  I have probably done a bit of rambling, but that’s a good thing.  I hope that when I read this one day in the future I will know and understand it all.

Good night moon- there’s a full moon!

To sleep, perchance to dream....

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