A Dream A Night

 

To engender empathy and create a world using only words is the closest thing we have to magic.~Lin Manuel-Miranda

Galaxy01

CHANGING UNCHANGING as slow moving waters slide past. No hurry to sleep, for the world she waits for angels to return. The Moon lifts oceans, the Sun whole worlds and galaxies spin billions of specks of light leisurely balanced around their axis. But angels don't waste their time with such things, they only nudge your heart as they dance amid the strings of light and wash your cares away. Looking down into the clear waters your reflection looks up and winks before turning away and swimming out to hide among the water lillies. Your wings stretch [you have wings?] and you follow. Now as a small fairie with a new perspective and new fears. But even small things have to exist. Turns out you are so quick nothing could catch you. Aware of all sounds, all colors, all movements. So you are safe to hover, and upon alighting, the angels materialize. Angels are at once both quick and timeless. You open your heart and one immediately approaches. You hug and are transformed by the inner delight and solace. The sunlight is dimmer now, the wind picks up and although the dapples are moving faster they cycle back sooner. You fall to sleep knowing that when you do awake, you will take the new angel's knowledge with you. --SHAY

Through dreams the soul is conveying something obscurely by physical means – Artemidorus

HAD sung every morning to each other and to the sky. Wise men and women of the villages listened and learned, for the birds foretold the weather, taught man how to benefit from the flora and fauna of the island, and if you didn’t show correct respect, songbirds would warn the wild boar when you were on the hunt. In the distant past, princes traveling their realm were pleased to have the songbirds alight on them, whispering to them secrets of governing wisely. But in the not too distant past princes have become full of themselves and when those princes became kings, they had the birds slaughtered, making the very cloaks that now are the noble’s treasured 'heritage.' The songbirds couldn’t believe they were being hunted into extinction. It couldn’t be true, that so many were being hunted just for one cloak! After all, there was an unspoken pact, the larger animals ate a few of the smaller animals and the smallest, like the songbirds themselves, ate the insects. If all the songbirds were taken, the insects would become more numerous than the stars. On the seventh generation, the people heard no more singing, no more whispering advice, just the silence between the rustling of palms. They mourned the missing birds and included the colors of all the songbirds in their tattoos. But without the actual birds themselves the people did not progress in their knowledge. Soon the birds were completely forgotten. The tattoos got wilder and larger in a frenzy of competitiveness. Myths grew, and on the fortieth retelling it was dragons that were the missing wise creatures. No one believed that birds had been instructors or that humans, in our avarice, were ever anything but the most informed creatures on land, sea or sky. But through the years the colors dropped one by one from the tattooist’s repertoire, so that now they are colorless like the new moon. --SHAY

The first wave is the hardest, be it love, sports or finances. The unexpectedness knocks you off your feet. But successive waves drown you in your fight with the undertow of civility –SHAY

CHANNEL IT, it channels you.

You don't control it, it controls you.

You don't censor it, it censors you.

You don't belch it, it belches you.

You don't sacrifice it, it sacrifices you.

You don't smack it, it smacks you.

You don't test it, it tests you.

You don't own it, it owns you.

You don't swim with it, it swims in you.

You don't go to it, it comes to you.

You don't envy it, it envies you.

You don't mentor it, it mentors you.

You don't worship it, it worships you.   – SHAY

Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the horizon, like a black sun behind cloud cover. – Margaret Atwood, 1986

I NEED PEACE

AND QUIET my father would say, so off we ran – down the stream where the rowboat was turned up on shore. Pushing splashing and jumping in we were gliding so smoothly across the shallows to a current only swift enough to make the boat gently rock. We pulled the oars out and sat down next to the oarlocks. After twirling in circles a few times we lay back laughing and looked at the clouds and imagined their form and movement could shift at our will. After what seemed like ages there came shouting from the shore and we sat up and looked ahead at – nothing. Oh, no, it must be Morgi Falls! We'd never been this far down river before. I remember a falls that I'd seen in a book. The flow created its own weather or something and the updraft of air threw a plume of spray high above the drop off. I told my brother who was about to jump to instead take off his shirt as I took off mine with one arm still through, his right arm grabbed my left. We clasped and held each other and the shirt tails tight and jumped (or were pulled?) up as the boat tipped down and disappeared. I told him not to look, but we heard the splintering on the rocks below anyway. We flew for a dozen or more yards though it seemed like thousands before landing safely on a cliff-side ledge. Then papa awoke. – SHAY

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams. ― Werner Herzog

 

FOR MY FRIENDS AT CARDIO-REHAB

WE CAN ALL USE A LAPIDARY to bring out the best in ourselves. You may think them torturers, indeed they can cut very deep. But the polishing brings out the shine, oh the vivid shine. Not just in deep intense color. Not just in brightness. But undefinable luster. A lapidary, of course, cuts, grinds, and polishes to bring out the best in all number of hard, hard stones; diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. All are precious in our own way. And can't we old stones be thick, well worn, scratched, and cracked. Inwardly, though, we still contain our crystals of youth. Pristine. Maybe it's self delusion, but there are many illusions that we carry to keep us sane. It's funny we never know our true selves until the cleave comes down, and soon enough the grinding begins. Best to give into it at that point. 'Tis grace, the ultimate healer. St Agnes is certainly looking over us all. Let the spirit move you and have its way to polish you, set you and shine light into you that you then send back into the world as a color that is oh so brilliant. --SHAY

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C.S. Lewis

THE TWO PEBBLE STORY

THE TENSEST place in the world is the waiting room. I know, you thought it was the battlefield. At least there you have the choice to fight back or run. And there are usually no children present. In a waiting room young children have it over adults in that they are more easily distracted by their imaginations. Waiting is hard, especially when, in the rush, you have forgotten the MDDs (movie distraction devices). Wherever you can find two of something there is a distraction only a short story away. Where two of something exists there is competition, which every child knows intimately. Search the grounds for two pebbles if you have not recently picked up two that looked interesting. Everything has magic powers, rocks are no exception. They have a special relationship with gravity. These two have the magical power of defying it. Small movements at first, as all magic has to build. And before you know it, they're bouncing into the ceiling! They're sly too, always hiding in back of someone, they bounce quietly waiting for someone to activate the door so they can escape. Then it's off to the races as they continue to bounce higher and higher until they bounce over the hospital. Now they have enough force to break a windshield if they don't watch out. Not knowing what the world is like, they have to learn from each other, setting of car alarms, winding up splashing in ponds, sinking down and having quite the time of it getting out of the muck on the bottom. You'd have thought they'd learned that lesson when they came to the ocean, but when they'd bounced several miles high, there weren't many choices of where to come down. Luckily a whale was spouting and they held on to each other as they plugged up that grey whale's breathing hole. When enough pressure built, they were shot back up into the air. Seagulls can be nice even if they don't mean to be. Harold the seagull that snatched them out of the air and started to swallow them, skipped them over the ocean just missing the Azores and they wound up on the beach in Portugal. They met their cousins who were a part of a castle, staying for months before a little girl and boy (just like you) picked them up and sent them on their way. But that's another story. --SHAY

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. --Elmore Leonard

THE BELL RINGS

CRYSTAL CLEAR for miles, no, tens of miles 'round. The joyous news was welcomed by all – that the King had gotten a good night's sleep. Because the Queen had gotten her striking pink duvet she snuggled in contently. Because the accountant had balanced the kingdom's books and found monies for the duvet, he slept with equanimity. Because the Sheriff took credit for the big jewel bust, he was able to sleep serenely while the deputies who had done the investigation did paperwork. The burglar slept fitfully in the dungeon while the torturer dreamt of cookies he would buy with the proceeds of the ruby that had been slipped him. As a key to the thief's capture, the baker's wife had had her heirloom necklace returned, so the baker slept gleefully knowing he could return again to his regular schedule of baking instead of inquiring throughout the Kingdom for his wife's jewels. Then the mice would be able to get a decent meal in the village sleeping there indulgently because they did not have to go scrounging for scraps in the castle, skittering through the walls keeping the King awake. --SHAY

One of the nice things about problems is that a good many of them do not exist except in our imaginations.-- Steve Allen

SAILIN' HEART

GREAT weather, preparations made, gathered at the dock. Checklists and equipment checked. Safety first. Gear stowed. Cast off. The blue waters reflect the cumulus buildup miles away and above and beyond the long, tree-lined lake. Roller Skating Heart has found her sea legs. Once around the deck and cheers from fellow passengers. The twelfth time around the deck and jeers from the fellow passengers. Soon the boat is out into the middle of the lake. Up in the sky is where the action is. Hot air balloons float so close you feel like you can almost reach out and touch them. You hear the power of the bursts of propane that keep them aloft, and the cheers of voices from the basket, so clear and angelic from the water's surface. The gondola nearly drops to the water just as a large blast of propane sends ripples across the water and the balloon slowly rises and your boat cruises by. Suddenly other boats appear, heading in all directions at once and behind a large racing sail appears a huge motor boat. Little time to act, Roller Skating Heart races up the mast (straight up the mast!), wraps her legs and arms around the mast and billows herself out to catch that extra wind just in time to squeak by and avoid a collision. --SHAY

A boat is nothing without water, and a man without his dreams. --Mehmet Murat ildan

THE CIRCLE DANCE

WITH each instant she moves blithely. She's turned with a steady hand as they weave and duck in time with the music hand over hand, feet lightly placed just so just for a second, then on to the next. Colors flash by facing forward and then back. Here earthy browns and greens, there bright patterns and plaids. Repeated motions become Zen moments of reflection, swimming upstream in a flow of bodies each the same and each very very different. The caller lifts off the stage and floats freely overtop the dancers as the band plays below the glass floor. At her command the dancers lift off the floor in slowly drifting intertwining circles clasping and releasing and clasping again each other as they promenade in and out of time. --SHAY

Magic is in the air. The impossible is only what can't be imagined. --SHAY

CLICKETY CLICK

CLICKETY CLACK of the train over the railroad tracks calling me home. The anticipation is palpable of meeting those unseen for ages and catching up and settling down into a comfortable routine interspersed with laughter and love. Meanwhile the engineer watches out for we fellow travelers who cozy up to watch the sunset into a mountain so beautiful and backlit purpled majesty too soon gone away but leaving us behind to bask in a red afterglow that goes on and on as if it will never let go, never release us to sleep. Individually some turn on their overhead lights to read or to watch over their sleeping children. But I welcome the darkness to view the valley at night, farm houses lit from within. The silhouettes of palm trees mark the homestead above the row after row of almond trees. I cozy up to my duffle bag and finally close my eyes to the clickity click, clickity clack and train horn's short bursts keeping everyone safe on this long journey home.

Don't stay up so late that you don't enjoy your morning donut. --SHAY

SAND CASTLES COME

AND sand castles go. You have invented an alternative to a band-aid but are in the process of determining other uses for the aerogel that, instead of being a solid-like sponge filled with air, it is a thickened liquid filled with air. Still very light and a great insulator that is completely biodegradable. Northern beach goers spray it on, and enjoy a day at the surf swimming and building cold cold sand castles. Only they are doing this in bathing suits and are covered by a thin 1mm layer of spray that protects like a 4mm head-to-foot neoprene wetsuit. You are working on an additional feature; a bioluminescence like some squid and jellyfish sport. The mesmerizing patterns of light make fish freeze and sharks flee. You've tracked the experiences of swimmers out to two hundred meters, but you are completely surprised to find the real use of your product is spraying down sand art to keep it from drying up. The spray helps hold up much higher towers and even allows for footholds and much finer detail that just regular water held sand sculptures. The bioluminescent spray changes depending on the light – full sun, sunset, twilight and deep night. Rainbow colors broken into the primary colors traveling slowly down and up the aerogel; shades of red and purples reflecting the skies to the West and in the dark; deep purples forming moire patterns well into the night. As you watch the patterns slowly rise and fall you are still warm, now under a old quilt blanket. --SHAY

Koalas sleep 22 hours a day, why o why can't I?

FIREWORK FACES

PALM trees fade into flat bursting silhouettes and the moon peaks over the yardarm. Waves lap peacefully upon the hulls of the boats in the harbor. No tea thrown in there today. The breeze holds its breath in anticipation. The orchestra in its half shell warms up with discordant fifths, octaves and fourths. The ceremonial canons are loaded. Sparklers brighten young faces gleefully happy to be running with fire on a wire. A single round is sent aloft to check winds at altitude. The orchestra begins and the audience settles softly in their temporary thrones and blankets. The music reminds a few of ancestors all but forgotten, names on family trees with sketchy words to represent whole lives lived in freedom; a chain of progress sometimes many, but mostly only a few generations old. The first firework fills the entire sky drawing all eyes skyward except yours. You've seen these many times, never ceasing to be surprised but this time you decide to watch the children, the ooohers-and-aaahers, the cover-their-eyes-and-peakers, the gigglers and the fearful ones as they clutch to their mother and fathers as each generation has done since the country began, and will do as long as it lasts. - SHAY

We dream in shades of grey, but our reality is full of color. ~Anthony Blacksher

SHADOW OF THE FUTURE

TO CHANGE things you need to make the future more important relative to the present--Eric Rhoades It was an off-hand remark that stemmed from game theory; to enlarge the shadow of the future. It was a shortening of a long quote, however: “To change things you need to make the future more important relative to the present, that the future creates a bigger shadow on the present than gratification today.” It started in one of his salons, which itself grew out of his wife's fantastic cooking and their shared desire – not to eat everything she cooked. So they invited people over in what they called 'left-over parties' and everyone else called 'being analyzed.' Eric was not the easiest person to get along with. He spoke his mind and interrogated his fellow teachers to no end. They were mostly fellow teachers. Who else would put up with such a deep and callous questioning of their core beliefs for a helping of homemade noodle lasagna, vegetarian meat balls in burnt orange rosemary sauce, and Lanna coffee tiramisu? But despite the constant pecking, usually at the end everyone there had their minds changed a bit, and even though they joked about solving the world's problems each night, one night they actually did. Mutual cooperation can be stable if the future is sufficiently important relative to the present. Eric's expansion was to detail reputation between aspects of a person's life, much like was already happening in social media of the time. The pendulum was already swinging back, toward the proper, after so many years having been, um, improper (to put it kindly). Another addition was how we treat the lowest members among us that most defines our character. Gone viral it was taken on as a new currency, not just one way of rewarding each other, but THE way. And the rest was, well, history. --SHAY

'What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.' – C.S. Lewis

HIEROGLYPH

EGYPT had always treated women better than other ancient civilizations. Women could conduct business, own property, represent themselves in court, study and become doctors. You are Nefertiti a Pharaoh of Soul. You lead your people to its wealthiest height and change the pantheon of gods to a single god, a one that answers all prayers, not just those of a select few. For all the positives, some still want to usurp your power. Some men take power from privilege, Others take it from their position. And still others from physical prowess. The pharaoh that would succeed you pretended he possessed all three, and his power derived from the populace going along with that myth. Nothing but a lie you say? All is a lie he replied. Nihilism is lovely to float down if you don't mind going over the waterfall. The split was vivid. Those that believe him say this thing you call all-embracing love is a greater threat to Egypt than the Canaanites and that by reveling in your cozy 'affliction' that love is all there is, you have not the room to believe the fear that he rubs the people's noses in. Many contend that we deserve the best pharaoh. Others, that we need a bastard to match all the other bastard leaders of the world. Your eyes give you away. Their eyes give them away. And always will. The story in hieroglyphics are painted on the walls of the tomb you one day will occupy, but not today, not soon, not for a long long time. --SHAY

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

MY GRANDFATHER'S HANDS

HANDS of my grandfather were strong and weathered. I remember sitting on the porch comparing hands, mine fit well within his palm. A blacksmith by trade, he had calluses out to the tips of each finger. The most effort my hands had seen were flipping the pages of books. Hands are the road maps of the soul. They show where you've been and where you're going. My grandfather's reflected his back woods upbringing, what I'd call street smarts if he had grown up in a city. My dream is to spend a week with him in his blacksmith shop making undercarriages for trains for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. I step back in time to a well stocked, busy machine shop lined with: a massive forge and hood that dwarfs any I'd ever seen before, lathes both large and small, cutter grinders and reamers, milling vises, drill presses each serviced by an overhead hoist and chain pulley system. Walls (where there aren't coal dust covered windows) are lined with shelves and pegboards and all manner of hand tools: hacksaws, coping saws, squares, scribers, dividers, calipers, planers, mallets, hammers, wire cutters, pry bars, wrenches, chisels, screwdrivers and pliers of many shapes and configurations. I spend at least the first hour with my long-deceased grandfather understanding the uses for tools that I don't recognize. --SHAY

Where do our deepest beliefs come from? Generally from childhood, and then not from what our parents and teachers say, but from what they do and who they are. ~ John O'Donahue

GONE WITH THE WIND AND WIZARD OF OZ

WERE THE SAME MOVIE. Tara back home by clicking together the ruby slippers three times. Danny Devito turned down the head munchkin role because he didn't want to upstage Meryl Streep who played all four witches. She had to film all the Wicked Witch of the West's scenes last because the makeup wouldn't quite come off. Rehtt's prosthetics were ground breaking as the carnival barker and Wizard of OZ, a feat that would not be equaled until Avatar seventy years later. The original house that Dorothy lived in was a plantation, but was changed to Kansas for the special effects gurus who couldn't get the plantation model off the ground. Hedda Hopper had a double cameo, once as the head flying monkey and again as the horse that Sherman rides through Atlanta on. The rain of powdered opium used in the railyard scene nearly killed them all. Selsnick took Toto under his wing, the scuttlebutt around the set is that they met at the Hollywood bungalows – the last one on the left. It is still known as “Tara”. The 'Surrender Dorothy' smoke writing was done by a whole fleet of squadron biplanes borrowed from Howard Hughes. Judy Garland and Vivian Leigh traded off playing hooky and vouching for each other (she's under the “weather”) when they were really alternating with the not-so-scary scarecrow and the not-so-cowardly lion.

Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking.” ~Clifton Fadiman

DRAW LIFE

EVERYTHING you draw comes to life. Not immediately, but as soon as you put the finishing touches on it, it separates from the page, notebook, wall or tattooed foot (yes you once talked your younger sister into a very crude butterfly). The more realistic the longer they last (the tattoo butterfly lived only a few moments, trying its best to fly without balance). Sometimes they don't know what they are and so break apart trying to go in several directions at once. Sometime you wish they could last for at least the afternoon; children at the park have such fun chasing and catching them. You explain to the parents that you are a magician (Penn and Teller think you're the best), and the creatures are harmless. But there's always a small question in the back of your mind. You did create an evil one once, and it took 30 minutes to chase down and squash. Now you make sure the face or profile has a smile and happy eyes, the children or audience members don't want to hurt them then. Lately you've taken to drawing in themes. You create twenty or so each show – it pays the rent and then some. This month's theme is zeppelins. When you chase them across the stage you build up an electric charge so that just touching them causes them to explode and crash. The flames and heat disappear with the paper and the magic of your drawings. -SHAY

“Any kid will run any errand for you if you ask at bedtime.” ~Red Skelton

MEMORIAL

A BROKEN heart feels as if it is going to be carried forever. It appears like it can only be supported with a thick wall or, for now, embraced to hold it together, slowing the cracks but knowing it will eventually break, when released. The old have had lots of practice recovering from loss, so they relax and don't fret a small crumble now and then, the burden heals quicker when your not fretting over every lost piece, for it has grown in a different direction, stronger, and sadly, more resilient. Left unattended for long, the burden grows of its own volition. When we first recognized it we fought it with wishful thinking. Then distraction that only allowed it to continue growing once it was out of sight. Out of control, it took on its own center of gravity. If you do not learn how to carry it, even a small burden can tread you into the ground. You wrest control of it and struggle how to carry it. Only when recognized and stated aloud do we find the help we seek when we turn it over to a higher power to lighten our load. Prayer/meditation changes the space across which necessities are uttered. Physical distance collapses, gone into the abyss that makes up non-existence, the burden lifts. Only a little at first. Then increasingly, as the falsity of illness is revealed. Generosity is here with us now, we only need ask.  -SHAY

“There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.” ~Edward Lucas

ARMISTICE DAY

HE insisted on wearing his uniform. He insisted on a lot of things. The silverware needed to be just right as did the order of his bathing and their daily walk right on time. He had always been a special patient, which made this an awkward friendship. She was supposed to be the special one. She had come from a well-to-do family in Wisconsin, he from a tribe in the Dakotas. Her stereotypes were all she had to go by; it was 1919 after all. She had befriended him when the ward was full. He never had talked, but they communicated just fine despite. He had needed more attention, now she was able to provide it, for the ward wasn't very busy these days. She really should be leaving, her family needed her too. But she stayed for him. Into your wheelchair, the rickety wicker cracked and split - things had been made quickly during the war. He swings his one leg into the chair. If she left there would be no replacement, the others here aren't so, what would you call it – open minded? She stays out of friendship more than duty. The past isn't past and the war continues in his head and out. - Shay

“The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Everymorning get up and put on your cape.” ~Lena Waithe

ICE SKATING HEART

TYING up her ice skates as tight as she possibly can, Ice Skating Heart looks up at the iconic Rockefeller Center building. The flat surfaces are her sporting fields. Like the ice, their smooth mirror shine invites her to skate like a roller rink's DJ. She shoots out onto the ice and forms a large square pattern, one that if it were her grandmother's papel picado (perforated paper cutouts), would form the pattern she jazz-danced-to in her mind. The lights under the ice conform to the patterns she taps out – long arcs, tight swirls and small dots that chip away at the ice, causing the Zamboni driver to wince. A dove and snowflake soon can be seen from a bird's eye view fifty feet overhead. I hope someone is getting this on drone camera, Ice Skating Heart thinks. With a finishing flourish she adds some radio buttons that, tapping on each, changes the colors under the arena from ice blue, to golden yellow to flaming red. Looking up again, she sees her next canvas. This time it is fractal hearts within hearts, all the way down, err, up. She is skating just as easily on vertical surfaces as horizontal ones. Behind her the colors peel away, curling into candy pieces the size of snowflakes falling on the throngs below. The crowd cheers as they stick out their tongues in anticipation of the sweet/mint combo. The countdown has begun so Ice Skating Heart looks for the glowing ball – oh, look, it's a heart too! There it is in the distance. She hurries down 7th Avenue like Spiderman on his way to collar a criminal. Would there be enough time to ride the big heart down and back onto the streets and into a warm bed? Which, as everyone knows, is the best way to start a new year. -Shay

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ~ Dr. Seuss

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Baby it's cold outside, your mother whispers softly. They'll say that guardian angels were your midwives, but this minute it's all smiling down from above, echoing the best wishes of the angel's great expectations. Just now in these arms, in this life, you decide to continue to see the souls of others as they really are and not their outer shell. Instead of the “windows to their soul” you see their faces glowing with halos. You join in the dance of colors, watching the rays sparkle while feeling in your bones the rhythm of life that has been granted not once, but thousands, millions, countless times and shines in so many wonderful ways. Opening your eyes wide for the first time despite the dim surroundings. No, because of them, you make out the textures of their clothes denoting their level of society; poor, rich, well-kept and not. None of that means a thing to you. You only know how amazing it is to love and be loved. The door opens and a fine streak of starlight falls on you. It is dim but bright enough to grant you the power of acceptance. In that moment you know how special everything is and how anything is possible. In that moment you know your peeps – sheep and shepherds and you know your mission – forgiveness. It is a promise that God is still there, be it in a city or nomads trekking the countryside. With our very existence we bring expectations of forgiveness; of rebirth; and love for all. It is a simple message offered by a carpenter's son. - Shay

I do not dream, I am dreamt ~Jung

The day has been like a single tree in a dog park, everybody uses you, nobody apologizes. ~Shay

MOBIUS STRIP

Never ending rush of goodness fills your vision with wishes, desires and surprises. The multi-colored stained glass colors everything with intense shades -- no, bright spikes-- that shine through a cold swirling fog like a laser. A falcon flies out and you jump on its back. It dives and rises to the surface where it becomes a boat that grows into a cruise ship with every step you take along the deck. You stop at the dining room. It is filled with tables, fruits of all kinds and piles of meat fill both the tops and bottoms of each table. Your laughter is drown out by your friends singing in unison and you join them at the backdropped, curtained stage. After a couple rounds, everyone cheers for more so you sit down on at the drums. Although you've never played before, you start to drum simply and glide through several time signatures while climbing a rock wall where snares are strategically placed to strike as goals are met. As you reach the climax of the solo and the rock wall, you lay back into thin air (and your harness) and your belaying partner floats past as you gently fall down and through the floor where never ending rush of goodness fills your heart with desire and surprise as lush bottles of fantastic liquids glimmer and pour like a river past ribbons of twisted straws drinking in the goodness that fills the stained glass colored swirling warm mist that you are piercing like a laser. - Shay

The beauty we seek is ours for the night, and hopefully, to wake and share with the morn. ~Shay

HIEROGLYPH

Some men take power from privilege, Others take it from their position. And still others from physical prowess. The pharaoh pretended he possessed all three, and his power derived from our going along with that myth. Nothing but a lie you say? All is a lie he replied. Nihilism is lovely to float down if you don't mind going over the waterfall.

Up steps Nefertiti. Egypt had always treated women better than other ancient civilizations. Women could conduct business, own property, represent themselves in court, study and become doctors. Nefertiti was a Pharaoh of Soul. She led her people to it's wealthiest height and changed the pantheon of gods to a single god, a one that answered all prayers, not just a select few. Individuals thrived under Nefertiti's rule. And that success was reflected back on the rule of the administration.

Those that believe the old ruler say this thing you call inclusiveness is a greater threat to Egypt than the Hittites and that you must believe the fear that they rub our noses in. We certainly deserve better. Continue to dream better. Be better, be the best you that you can be.

Their eyes give them away, and always will. For now you, Nefertiti, rule. Take back the eye symbol. Make it the Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power, and good health. It is your story in hieroglyphics on the walls of the royal tomb you may one day occupy, but not today, not soon, and not for a long long time. - Shay

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” ~Thomas Dekker

LEAVE IT BE

WAITING is the hardest part. A watched pot never boils. But boil it does, eventually. Timers are easy to set for cooking, but for healing? Walk it off. Roll if you gotta. Leave it be if it leaves your soul heavy. Souls are meant to fly. Your dream for this itty-bitty, teeny-weeny time amidst the unending clock is to fly. Fly high and fast. Fly up and swoop back down on your sleeping self just to check that you're OK. You are – see that smile on your face? So off you go on an acrobatic joy ride. Over waterfalls the easy way (by winged flight). Past rivers rolling gently to the sea. Along foothills with farms with soft mounds of haystacks and homes wrapped in porches with swings rocking gently. The air current thermals lift you up and bless you with the sight of being on par with the mountains themselves. They welcome you and bow down to let you pass over. You see the endless mountains and decide not to journey that far today. Always leave something undone on a vacation/escape. Reason to return. - Shay

“There is no hope for a civilization which starts each day to the sound of an alarm clock.” ~Unknown

NEVER DISABLED IN MY DREAMS

I'm never disabled in my dreams. I look forward to the slipping off this mortal coil (temporarily please God), the falling off of, the blessed relief from conscious care. We create time/space/meaning in our dreams. The smallest thing can mean the most; the most fleeting can be held onto for the entirety of our measure under its spell. I can be anything in my dreams. A large furry alien (who says aliens are reptilian not mammalian?) that tap dances the fandango. A fast growing tree that has the wisdom of the ages, it thinks in hundred year s e n t e n c e s. Good thing that dreams last just a few short minutes. The wisdom? Hold on to your water, it is a precious source (at least until you can make it to the bathroom!) The best dream? Directing traffic so that I can wheel across the street without fear. Smiling faces that hold open the door. My opinion requested and acted upon. - Shay

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” ~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

AWAKE IN JOY

YOU dream you have just awoken. You pull the curtains wide to find that the sun has just peaked over the low, tree covered hills to the east. It shines an 'Aspen glow' (a bright orangish accent) on the violet mountains to the west. Opening the patio doors wide you breathe in the cool morning air, freshest of the day. Getting dressed you take a quick glance in the mirror at your morning bedhead and run a brush through your hair – it worked perfectly. The dogs now jump up and stretch and follow you down the hall, tails thumping against the wall, down the stairs, claws clamoring against the wood and to the kitchen where they take up their positions in each corner. You gather juice, a boiled egg, a raisin and cinnamon infused slice of toast, then you examine the table that has already been set. The first words you utter aloud are “Thank you for setting the table.” You have just thanked your previous self for being considerate of your future self. For as your Grandma Paula always said “Please and thank you are the most important words in the English language.” You smile as you sit down and look out upon the blooming irises' whites and blues and then beyond at the layers of serrated leaves of the Japanese maple. - Shay

How do people go to sleep? I'm afraid I've lost the knack. I might try busting myself smartly over the temple with the night-light. I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things. ~Dorothy Parker

DIMENSIONS

LARGE building entrance. Gross skill. Pull out a chair. Gross skill. Put down the tray without spilling the water. Fine skill. Pick up water, look down through the top, take sip, look up at the underside of the liquid. The same two-dimensional layer at once one; from the top a magnification of the small, from below a one-way mirror into a shallow puddle that won't stay still. Together, a world finished off in one gulp. Done eating. Out onto the court. Tall buildings on three sides, sounds of the city beyond echoing. Pull the cover off the easel, check the dryness of the paint on the tiny frame, not much wider than an iphone but twice the height. Look down the sliver of artificial canyon toward the wharf. Notice how the light has changed. A passerby asks, “Why do you paint these small paintings? Why not do a fresco?” You reply, “I don't have the gross motor skills of Picasso.” - Shay

I may be among the few who distinguish between dreams and #fantasy Those vivid dreams brought at night They're my mind at play Fantasy comes from my fully conscious brain Silly wishes never to fulfill Yet, dreams can come true. ~Kendahl‏ @kendown

FLOORED

ASHMITA washes the floor in a big house in Bengalūru (Bangalore), Ashmita, meaning rock born, is at the bottom of the house's staff. Ashmita knows floors well. It is floors that take the brunt of what we let go of and then gently hold on to it until it is swept into the dustbin. As a child following her mother from one house to another to clean, she would crawl along, appreciating every nook and cranny, discovering beetles and spiders that her poor overworked mother couldn't see. It was her great vantage to discover how things sit, sliding against one another. Ashmita's been to the second floor, the long closets full of satin and lace saris that the mistress wears to large parties every evening. Ashmita envies her freedom, her poise, her perfect smile. She knows all the hardness on the floor level and longs to float lightly above it, above the cares and woes of day-to-day life. She dances bhangra with Salman Khan. He treats her well, with flowers and candies floating over their heads as they dance so jubilantly. But he is leading her on, otherwise why would he leave her here to sweep day after day? She pulls out the latest movie magazine as she pushes his picture under the bed where the floor will hold it tight. - Shay

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all — in which case, you fail by default. ~J.K. ROWLING

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ADreamANight thanks you for sharing this dream with someone you know who needs healing. May they dream deeply and wake in joy.

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