Dreams and Words

And dreams OF words…I dream about words – occasionally. Is that weird? Or, you know, normal because some of you dream about words?

Last night, for the second time in the last 3 days I dreamt about the word ‘awkward’.  Last night’s dream is still very vivid in my mind and a bit confusing because it referenced the dream I had a few nights ago.

Dream #1 – somewhat vague at this point but I had written a lengthy essay about the word awkward. Can’t recall anything more than that.

Dream #2 – Someone is holding up a piece of paper with the paragraph I had written and I’m trying to read what I wrote but they pull it away and I’m calling out “Wait, I haven’t finished reading it!” Then I’m thinking I will write a poem about dreaming about the word awkward.

Then the dream gets weirder – All of a sudden I am looking at a movie poster with Mary Tyler Moore and Elvis Presley (I had to look up the name of the movie – it was “Change of Habit” I couldn’t remember the name of the movie in my dream) and I say “Aren’t they so young and beautiful” and voice says “Yes, but they were older than you and they’re dead now and you’re not”

Then I’m back to the word awkward and saying “How can I write a poem about it. There’s no poem there”

And then I was fully awake…What the hell???

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Miscellaneous Mishegoss #whatever I've lost count

~ I was reading an obituary the other day and it said that the person ‘outshined’ others in some endeavor or other and that to me is awkward. ‘Outshone’ is what it should have said according to me (and my husband). Of course I then looked it up and ‘outshone’ is listed as the preferred but outshined is also acceptable. I realize that there are no absolutes in this world; that everything is shades of grey but I’m gonna stick with “if it sounds right, it is right”.  Tho I supposed there might be a situation where ‘outshined’ would sound correct.

~ Re: Removing Civil War memorial statuary. We moved to Northern Virginia (the first time) in 1996. We lived in the city of Alexandria. One of the first people I became friends with was a woman of color. We were driving around the area and she mentioned that the store  I wanted to go to was on Jeff Davis Highway. I said “What?” I was shocked as shit that there was a major roadway named after Jefferson Davis. I asked my friend if she didn’t find that offensive. She shrugged and said “It’s always been that.” End of conversation.  Interestingly enough the name was not changed until 2019 – yes you read that right. I grant you they started talking about renaming the road back in 2015. Now here is the other thing – in Alexandria City and Arlington County the road was Jeff Davis Highway in Fairfax Country it was always know as Route 1. Same road…

~ A couple of months back when I changed my eating habits I just naturally started eating according to a schedule that made me feel better. Turns out this, for me instinctive schedule, has a name – intermittent fasting. Who knew? Out of a 24-hour day you fast for 16 hours and confine your eating to the other 8 hours (the 16/8 method). This is very easy to do. I don’t eat breakfast, I cook a large-ish meal we eat around 12:30 and then, if I am hungry, I will have something light around 6-6:30pm, usually breakfast type food.

I very quickly lost about 10 pounds and have not regained it. I haven’t lost any more weight but am holding steady. Sometimes because I’m tired or I sleep late I deviate from this schedule and have a regular dinner in the early evening and I can feel the difference. I am so not a morning person and I hate to cook so this 16/8 eating schedule takes effort on my part. It would take less effort if I didn’t have to provide for my husband as well. To be honest, if I were my only consideration I would probably eat just one meal a day in the mid afternoon. Listen to your body, it will tell you what’s right for you.


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Not everything is a 'sign' …

Everyone knows my favorite poet is John Donne. I first encountered him when I was 19 and we were studying the metaphysical poets in English Lit.

I was recently informed, via a message on Ancestry from my niece, that my female DNA contributor died . I have often, in the past, searched for obituaries for said person, and finding none assumed she lived on. Knowing that she is deceased I searched once again for any kind of death notice and there is still none. Whether her son decided it was not worth the bother I have no idea. Therefore I know not where her mortal remains might be interred.  And I wonder only out of curiosity because that’s the sort of thing I am curious about, where people are buried, what their tombstones say  – while I think cemeteries are a waste of space, conversely I find them fascinating to explore.

When my father died in 1973, a drawer was purchased in a mausoleum at the  Pinelawn Memorial Park and Arboretum. I was there exactly once, the day his mortal remains were interred.

This morning I remembered that I had the certificate of purchase for that entombment. I dug it out and I discovered my father is entombed in the John Donne Memorial Mausoleum (Row 5, Tier G).  That just amused the heck out of me for some reason.

It appears that the purchase covers two entombment rights – both remains to occupy the same crypt. On the back of the certificate it states:

“Each crypt space for two has the following dimensions:
Height          25″
Width           31″
Length          14’6″ (or 7’3″ each person)”

While I was typing this I wondered to myself “Why are you bothering with any of this?”  And then I realized tomorrow is Father’s Day – aha! And then I remembered something my father would write on every card he sent –

“You shall pass through this world but once; therefore any good that you can do or any kindness you can show to any human being, do it now for you shall not pass this way again”

That is a variation of a quote that has a  much disputed origin but seems to be, most probably,  a Quaker proverb.

And, as usual, I started this post going in one direction and wound up veering off into another.  My father seems to be much with me this past days. Happy Father’s Day, Pop!

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So I'm obsessed with this book

After I finished reading “Olive, Again”on Sunday, I scrolled through the book on Monday, looking for those few sentences I wanted to save.  And today I scrolled through again on my search. While scrolling I also found myself reading deeply, immersed once again in the story.

When I was reading some reviews, prior to writing my first post about the book, it was pointed out that strictly speaking this was not a novel but rather a group of inter-related short stories as were some of her other books. I never noticed that. It doesn’t feel that way to me at all.

I did find the passage I wanted to save –

and he thought: My soul is aching.

And it came to him then that it should never be taken lightly, the essential loneliness of people, that the choices they made to keep themselves from that gaping darkness were choices that required respect. “ (Olive, Again – Elizabeth Strout)

Wow – hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes. And that’s what this book is about, that essential loneliness.

So much in this book resonated for me. (resonated with me?). It had me jumping up and consulting other books of Ms. Strout. There is a theme of the quality of light throughout the book, particularly the light of February. That made me search through my own writings because the quality of light is a theme in my own writing. I found the poem, mine was about the light of November and December – and you know what? It is a damn fine piece of writing, I’m proud of it.

Maybe Olive, Again isn’t all that and a bag of chips; maybe it is just my mood or frame of mind that has me so susceptible to content. I don’t know but it has my brain buzzing.

It also has planted in my mind that I must go back and reread other books – like “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin.  Yes, I think I shall do that…

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Miscellaneous Mishegoss

I finished “Olive, Again” by Elizabeth Strout and it just ripped my heart out. I was only reading maybe 20 or 30 pages a day because I found it so wrenching, then last night I read the last 200 pages, because I had to. A number of Strout’s stories and characters are based in Maine and many show up here in “Olive, Again”.   You need not have read her other books to enjoy ‘Olive, Again’ tho I really do think you might enjoy this more if you read ‘Olive Kitteridge’ first. Still…Elizabeth Strout speaks to me more than any other writer I can think of. Or should I say, any other novelist. There are poets who I swear have read my mind and heart and soul despite having died long before I was born.

And that’s why I dislike ebooks – I got this one from my local library, using Overdrive, and unlike other ebook readers I could not ‘search within the book’ – there were a few lines I wanted to save but neglected to do that when I read them and now I shall have to scan through the entire book to find them. If I had a ‘real’ copy of the book I could have marked the page, underlined the text. Oh, well I shall buy the book when it comes out in paperback – I seem to prefer paperback books these days.

I realized today that when I am stressed it’s like when I used to get migraine headaches – I can’t stand the sound  of people talking. Human voices grate on my nerves, like this. I had one of those ‘episodes’ this morning, not a migraine, but a stress attack and I snapped my husband’s head off and yelled at the cat. Yes, I know the cat doesn’t qualify as a human voice but then again, you have never heard my cat. And she just never effin’ shuts up! If I knew what she wanted I would give it to her, I would, really, I would. Sometimes I know what she wants and them sometimes it is just incessant demands. “What do you want? You’re a cat. I don’t understand you”

Now that ‘the mother‘ has died, I wondered this morning how my father is dealing with that. Have they bumped into each other yet? Is there some holding space for the recently deceased? I was talking to him this morning and he made me drop my earring and then laughed – not a bad laugh but a warm laugh. I didn’t think to ask him about his wife (aka ‘the mother‘).  We used to say that my father died because that was the only way he could get away her. So how does that work now that they are both dead?


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While "Thank You" is quite possibly my favorite phrase

I have problems with grateful and thankful. I Googled grateful vs. thankful and my head near exploded. The only citation that I could understand was from the Cambridge dictionary – full explanation here.  Short version: “We use grateful to talk about how we feel when someone is kind to us or does us a favour.  We usually use thankful when we are relieved that something unpleasant or dangerous didn’t happen.”

People are invariably kind to me, or at least that is my perception, so perhaps I live in a, mostly, state of gratitude. Yet gratitude still has a feeling of being less than to me; a feeling of being a supplicant.  Which kind of brings me to the word worship, which sets my teeth on edge because somewhere in there I hear, and see, the word and action – kneel.

Kneeling to me is an act of deference (definition: humble submission and respect) and that is just the most debasing and degrading thing a person can be forced to do.  Kneeling in deference, humble submission and respect – I was forced into that – I still remember it with anger and disgust. For myself and the person who demanded it.

Then again, worship is associated with a deity, and I don’t believe in deities.  I do believe in a Universal Intelligence, which is not a single entity but a multitude – hardly something that could be called a someone and worshipped.

I don’t know where this is going, actually I think I am done. I know I had a point/idea when I started but, you know me, I start to write and off I go – researching as I go along, that research making me think twice, or thrice, and…where I end is not the place I was aiming for when I started. But, it’s always an interesting journey for me. Thanks for coming along.



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I'm antsy and edgy

and I’d like to smack somebody – no one in particular – just anyone at all – to get rid of this itchy feeling. Not itchy as in scratchy itchy as in prickly, like cactus.

Tuesday was a stupid day filled with stupid frustrations, and I don’t know why that’s still on my mind.

I need everyone to go back to work because they are hogging all the bandwidth. This is an old building and was retrofitted with cable and every time I complain Comcast says, and rightly so, “It’s the wiring in your building.”  A couple of years ago Verizon put their fiber optics crap in the building but their reputation for service is worse than Comcast’s around here. Plus the Verizon box with all the connections is in the trash room and the box is unlocked and all the connection wires are just hanging down. A really mean person could disconnect everyone on this floor by just pulling the wires out. I’m not that kind of person, but you know, just sayin’

Are there big bad things going on in the world? You betcha’.  All laid at the door of the stupidity of human beings. Were human beings to be eradicated from the Universe, it would be a very good thing.

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