Archive | May, 2018

Art, Buddhism, and a Kitten

31 May

I dreamed I was a tourist in San Francisco. A busy street had a building with a façade on which paintings by various artists were hung on nails. I had a picture I painted, but I couldn’t find the gallery owner responsible for this wall of paintings, so I ended up just putting my picture on an empty nail and walking away. The gallery wasn’t right there.

Strangely, San Francisco turned into Phoenix, and I eventually learned (perhaps from a business card) that the address was on Cave Creek Road. I went to a shop that was somehow connected to the gallery… and it turned out that one of the people who worked at the shop was the son of the couple who owned the gallery. (He was at least the second person with whom I spoke in the shop.) He was in his 30s and 40s, looked part Native American, had dark blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, and wore glasses. The shop was vast, and the counter was in the center of the room. He told me about the gallery, and I think he was the one who gave me a manila folder that contained info on it. His parents owned that gallery for forty years, and he talked about them. They sounded wonderful—and my trip was almost over.

Meanwhile, a few more (bohemian) people came into the shop, and I sat down at a table where people gathered regularly for classes, and a bohemian woman with dark hair (I think she wore a purple dress) handed something to me and explained, saying something about the Buddha’s love, I think. The items were a small Buddhist booklet and a homemade maroon batik cloth (patch?) with an image of a Buddha centered on it. I was impressed and said, “Thanks!” That’s how the dream ended.

This may have been an early part of the same dream:

I was staying with my brother and sister-in-law—though at some point it may have been my mother’s house, and I was feeling aversion because I found out that a certain relative was going to be there. I was in a back bedroom and was hastily taking down and hiding artwork I didn’t want her to see. I started making the bed in a strange way, cutting away at a mattress cover. At least one wall was covered with pictures/paintings. The bed had a section down below with shelving, and art hung from that, including one of the pictures I hid.

Later, I was in a very white interior house in Phoenix, there was a really large room that had doors to other, smaller rooms on the left, and my brother and sister-in-law lived there. The walls and floors were all white, and it looked somewhat like their real house.

Inside the house, there was a hallway that looked like it belonged in a museum or something. Much like the wall in San Francisco, one wall was covered in pictures hung up and painted by various artists. But there was a sheet covering part of the wall. I did something—perhaps bumped into the wall—and as a result, the pictures became crooked. My brother noticed and came over and straightened the pictures, while I felt very guilty and embarrassed.

Soon I was in the big room, and I think I was folding laundry or at last that sheet, with a laundry basket in front of me. Out of the sheet, I unwrapped a tiny black and white kitten with bright blue eyes. It was love at first sight.

The kitten got away from me and ran really fast. It somehow fit under a door that was closed. I knew someone was in that room, so I knocked before opening the door. It was a small bedroom, and my sister-in-law was lounging on the bed in a far corner. The kitten ran under the bed, but I managed to catch it.

Art—Buddhism—a kitten. These are all things that matter a lot to me.

Dystopia-Related Dreams

25 May

I dreamed I was hanging out with a small group of people in a house, and we played some games. One involved the racks and tiles of Scrabble but wasn’t Scrabble. I’m not sure if this was the same game, but there was something that involved coming up with an author’s name (maybe with the Scrabble tiles) and being required to read something by that author. I think I ended up with George Orwell, so I got up and said, “Let’s see what I can find. I hope it’s a short book by him.” I walked over to an unpainted and unstained bookcase that was mine (so it must have been my house, though it didn’t look anything like my house) and began looking at the titles. I saw two maps and pulled them off the bookcase; they were for India and Nepal, and I was glad, because I’d been looking for those. I set them aside, face up, on the edge of a shelf, right in front of shelved books, before I resumed looking for something by George Orwell.

(This was after I went to Tsunami Books and noticed a sign with a George Orwell quote that’s rather relevant to the current times.)

I think this was a different dream:

I dreamed about a dystopia in which Roe vs. Wade was overturned—it was more or less this reality, like Red Clocks. An ugly white male politician was in it; he had white hair and resembled Mike Pence (ew!). It was quite sinister.

Dreams from Two Nights

24 May

I dreamed that a whole bunch of packages appeared on my front porch. That’s interesting, since it really happened yesterday. I came home from Portland after dark, and there were a bunch of packages on my front porch, including a really big one.

What else did I dream about last night? I may have… oh, yeah! At least once, I dreamed about the Hollywood Library, where the book group met yesterday evening. In the dream, the library had a row of life-size gold statues of women. I think all of the statues were tall and slender, regal.

So, the night before last:

I’m reading Red Clocks by Leni Zumas and that night watched the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. I’d also been reading related news—Donald Dump attempting to prevent the federal government from supporting any clinic that so much as mentions abortion—thus having a domestic gag rule in addition to the sadistic global gag rule that he reinstated as soon as he started squatting in the White House.

So…all night I had dreams that were based on these things. Red Clocks takes place on the Oregon coast with various women affected by horrible laws overturning Roe vs. Wade. In the dreams, a woman would, for instance, be standing inside her house and gazing out a window.

Of course, that was the night before last, so I don’t remember anything else.


A dream in which I was at an antique mall or estate sale and came across some vintage dolls, really small porcelain ones, perhaps made in occupied Japan.


22 May

I dreamed that a bald, middle-aged man dressed in white like a house painter was busy burying lots of human corpses underground. The murderer hired him to do this. The guy’s daughter was about five years old and knew he was doing this; she threw a fit because of the direction in which he was burying them, and her complaint was that her mother wouldn’t approve of that direction. Her father patiently explained that he was just following orders.

The burial site was underneath what would be a new neighborhood of all new houses. At the end of the dream, there was film-like panning over many small, white houses with a great many windows. The sidewalks were practically red, a terracotta color.

It was an unsettling dream, certainly, but on the bright side, an online dream dictionary informed me that dreaming of burial means you’ve moved on from a bad situation. Funny thing about dream dictionaries: they never seem to acknowledge that dreams are often from the perspective of someone other than who you are in this life.

Riot Grrrls, Villains, and Office Space

21 May

After I finished reading the novel Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu at 2:46 am, many of my dreams were influenced by it.

In particular, I remember dreaming that a pretty big group of Moxie Girls gathered in someone’s bedroom (it had at least one set of bunk beds) and were having a discussion, all seated here and there around the room, mostly on the floor. They were making activism plans.


I dreamed that one other woman and I were chasing after a violent criminal, a man (who looked what you might call white trash). I’m not sure I was involved in this chase at the very beginning of the dream, but throughout it I was definitely inside a pair of very tall buildings, maybe skyscrapers, that at least initially seemed like apartment buildings.

On the ground floor, the walls were glass and there was apparently nothing but a staircase. I ran into the other woman, and I think she informed me of the criminal. We charged up the stairs after him.

After a couple flights, the two of us went separate ways, because the staircase split into two staircases. I went up maybe another flight or two, and on this floor was a thrift store; it had many rows of racks of clothing. A lot of it was costumes.

The villain was there, among the racks of clothes. He spotted me and threw garments at me, and I kept dodging them and pushing them aside while I continued chasing after him. I was aware this would be easier if the other woman were present. We didn’t have communication devices (phones, walkie-talkies), and other people were still shopping or standing at the counter as though nothing were happening.


I dreamed I was at my workplace, an office. At some point, I was at my desk and saw an email that said “Congratulations” or something like that in the subject line, but I wanted to get some work done before reading it. There was one other thing that implied that I got a promotion—perhaps flowers on my desk.

I went off to a copy room with some papers, and people at their cubicles in the next room seemed happy and excited about something. I saw a list of names in a particular department attached to the wall, and I was surprised to see my name on the list.

I went back to my desk to read that mysterious email after all, because I had the impression that everyone knew about my alleged raise before me. But I was working on a project and somehow sent myself a whole bunch of emails related to that project. I sat at my desk scrolling through my emails in search of the special email, but I couldn’t find it.

I didn’t want anyone to know that I didn’t know what was happening.

This may have been the same dream.

I was in an office, my workplace—a huge room with many rows of desks. There was a table in I think a far-left corner of the room, and I walked up to it. A large book, like a ledger book, lay open on the table. A woman I knew had written something in it about her lack of confidence, as though it was a journal, and I related to it.

Antifa and Rodents

17 May

I had a dream in which I was a member of an antifa group and, while I wasn’t the only one who planned this, I was going to plant a bomb on a train because of the Dump administration.

First, there we were talking and planning on what looked like a basement. Next, I was carrying a briefcase-like object on a train platform and repeatedly picturing what I was going to do. I would set the bomb under my seat…and take a casual-looking walk on the train. I’d be looking happily out at the scenery and would keep walking from one car to the next.

I felt moral qualms about doing this and could scarcely believe I was going to, but I kept reminding myself: it’s for the greater good.

Now that I’m awake, I realize that would only make sense if the Dump administration were on that same train. Maybe they were, but that didn’t come up on my awareness in the dream.


I had a dream in which someone found a rat and left it to me to take care of it. It looked like I was at my parents’ house. I went into my room and saw a cute little silver pet rat in a cage…but later I saw both rats next to each other, not in a cage. I felt very nervous, not only because the wild rat was huge, the largest rat I’d ever seen, but also because I had a premonition of it killing the pet rat.

I hurried into the kitchen to find a container in which to put the wild rat and suffocate it. The first thing I thought of was a plastic zip lock bag. Then I thought of a plastic canister. I searched through a cupboard to the left of the stove and kept thinking, “Not that one–I want to keep using it.” I came across one that I wasn’t sure was big enough, but I got distract by clutter in the cupboard. I found numerous banana peels and took them out and set them down on the messy counter (or on plastic bread bags on the counter) with the intention of taking the peels out to the compost bin later, after I took care of the rat.

Meanwhile, my mother came down the hallway from her bedroom and sat down at her usual spot at the kitchen table. There was the usual tension and bad energy of her evil mood after waking (even just from a nap), and I felt very nervous and didn’t want to tell her about the rat. I felt her eyes on me.


I had a dream in which I had a pet mongoose. It was light grey and curled up in my lap, while I petted her, and she occasionally gave my thumb love bites. She was a lot like Virginia. I was sitting in the front row for what was probably a high school play. The row was full, and the woman next to me asked about the mongoose, so I explained that she was a mongoose. I felt a great deal of affection for the creature.

A Dream of Nepal

16 May

I dreamed I was back in Nepal and spent a lot of time in a specific square (probably in Kathmandu). Numerous gold vehicles passed by in the square, almost as though the high statue of a Nepalese king under a parasol came to life.

Oddly, my mother and brother were there with me. At some point, I overheard them arguing and my mother describing me as her teacher, which was weird; maybe I was their guide, though in the dream I had a sense that I was teaching her a language.

I hung out with a young Nepali girl at her house. We were sitting on a rug in the center of a floor, and there were cards on the floor between us. I put down a post card of a square with gold statues and temples, and she scooped it up and didn’t want to give it back. At first I was indignant, but then I realized I should let her have it, so I did.

Not Celebrating

13 May

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are miserable after your parents die. In less than an hour, this Mother’s Day will be behind me. This will be the third Mother’s Day since my mother’s death in March of 2016. It hasn’t gotten easier.

So many businesses inundate the Internet—including my inbox—with ads that say, “Happy Mother’s Day!” and urge me to buy gifts for my (dead) mother. This is what greeted me this morning, after I finished writing in my dream journal. I wanted to scream at all these businesses. NEWSFLASH: NOT EVERYONE’S PARENTS ARE STILL ALIVE! Their behavior seems not merely inconsiderate but downright cruel. I unsubscribed from three email lists.

In the late morning, I took a walk in my neighborhood under a too-bright and relentless sun. As I walked past a neighbor’s house, I noticed a lilac bush in their front yard, so I leaned forward and sniffed the beautiful aroma.

I recalled that during my childhood and adolescence, a vacant lot was across the street from our house, and in that vacant lot were two lilac bushes. For years, I picked lilacs on Mother’s Day and gave them to my mother.

Remembering this on my walk today choked me up, after all that anger at the internet. I kept walking and knew the high for the day was supposed to be eighty-three degrees, and it felt like it had already reached the high. It must have been the sunlight, because as soon as I got home, my smart phone indicated that it was only sixty-six degrees, which I could hardly believe.

This ended up as a day of bereavement more intense than I anticipated, especially since I was closer to my dad, and my mother was a narcissist. Even if your mother was a narcissist, you grieve for her…and sometimes for the nurturing mother you never had. I spent the afternoon napping, meditating, and reading. I managed to finish reading three books in one day. This evening especially, I’ve allowed myself to be with the grief. The anger I felt earlier is gone.

A Dinosaur with a Dollhouse on its Head

7 May

I dreamed I was in a large room with two other people, one my brother (in that reality—he wasn’t Francis, and I think we were both in our twenties) and the other a flamboyant male music teacher or mad scientist. The latter was giving my brother lessons. They were ignoring me, and I walked to another part of the room. We heard a sinister growl coming from just outside the room; I looked toward a large window but didn’t see anything.

The floor wobbled alarmingly.

Next the perspective was completely different, outside the house…which was balancing on top of the head of a dinosaur. And the house I occupied was a dollhouse.

The dinosaur was inside a huge sailing ship, or just inside the ship. The dinosaur had a very long neck. The ship was tall enough to hold this dinosaur and was painted deep blue and dark brown.

Rare Thunder Causing Sleep Deprivation

6 May

At about three in the morning, a loud boom of thunder snapped me out of a dream.

Last time I checked the weather report, there was nothing about thunder and lightning; only rain, which—after years living in Portland, Oregon—I assume to be quiet, gentle rain. I rarely heard thunder in Portland, and when I did it was faint and distant.

I wish I’d turned on the light and sat up to read ghost stories, but I was very groggy and just wanted to get back to sleep. I wished to be well-rested before attending a matinee performance of the opera Maria of Buenas Aires, so I just wanted to get back to sleep. Also, being forced awake before a dream is complete always increases my grogginess, and I was extremely groggy. I drifted off to sleep…GRUMBLE! More thunder! I drifted off to sleep for a few minutes…BOOM! More thunder!

It’s easy to look back when I’m fully awake and wonder why I didn’t give up with trying to sleep. It would have been a really good time to read a ghost story. The thunder and lightning were so dramatic!