Thursday, September 24, 2009


Last year, my husband and I renovated our old Bungalow kitchen. Ripped out three walls, and all the cabinets, and replanned the flow of our home. My husband built all of our new gorgeous cabinetry. His uncle asked, "Oh, like from Ikea?" And my husband said, "No, like from wood and nails. No Allen wrenches were involved."

I love my kitchen, which is now a warm open space connecting to our dining room. It is exactly the space I imagined, even down to the farm sink we found on a popular free classified ad site for a third of the going price. My fairly tall husband built the cabinets to the ceiling, which means I am constantly standing on chairs. Even the low shelves feel tall to me. I have actually looked into permanently installing library-like ladders to run the circumference of my kitchen. It is not practical. Go figure. So, during the day, there is a pile of dishes on the counter, waiting for Sam to put in the high shelves. I sometimes stand on the stepstool, and tiptoe to get them in, and those unseen things blocking my way...I end up getting a snout hit of tupperware. But this morning, while making my juice, and looking between the glass bowls sitting in wait to the tippity top of my cabinets, I thought about those crevices. Sometimes I feel like my brain is like that, like I cannot peer into the very top of my thoughts. It reminds me of trying to remember my dreams in the morning.

Dream interpretation is sort of this passion I have. I love hearing and analyzing dreams. I once used a dream machine my friend's father invented. You literally sort of experience this sensory deprivation, and the lights on the inside of the eye covering recreate REM sleep, in its different forms, and the sounds you hear are just whooshing, like your blood coursing through your veins. It was wild. There I saw a vision of myself in the desert. Six months later I was living in Tucson. There is a lot of story in the middle of that, but suffice to say, it sort of clarified my desires for me.

Yesterday, I had an elaborate dream of putting together a room-sized jigsaw puzzle. It seems sort of obvious what this dream means, I need to figure something out in my life. The little details of a dream are what sort of obsess me. I was in a gorgeous puzzle store with floor to ceiling shelves filled with puzzles. Everything was wood, and extravagant. Some of these puzzles were blank--a thousand piece puzzle of a white field, or black field. There were no puzzles that were uncomplicated or kind. But the part of the dream that seems significant was that I kept trying to move the puzzle. I would construct an entire corner of this large puzzle, and then have to bring it over to the main puzzle, and it would fall apart in my hands. As I constructed the jigsaw, it formed a photograph of New York City on a clear, perfect Autumn day. The twin towers stood. I worked on the top of the puzzle, so I was building the skyline, but the main focus of the puzzle had not yet been constructed. There was an incredibly handsome Japanese man helping me with the puzzle. (He may be a red herring.)

This morning, I woke remembering a dream of a green river and snaking roadways, phone calls and my cousin's fangs (No, in real life, she is not a vampire.) Insurance companies and water coolers.

The funny thing about the dream obsession interest is that I own two books. One is sort of some house book from a large book chain called 10,000 Dreams Interpreted and the other is a Dream Encyclopaedia that I bought for a friend's birthday gift, and ended up keeping and replacing with a gift certificate. In the back, it has a dream dictionary. The former book is crazy. It is a dream dictionary that portends the future through your dreams, though to be fair, it says that nowhere until you look up a benign dream like "lettuce". And I quote, "To buy lettuce denotes that you will court your own downfall." Or you know, you are hungry for salad. The latter book is more of a psychological interpretation of your dreams.

Ho, ho. You can imagine the fun I have with these, right? I wish I could pretend that I use the latter book more often than the former...but I get great pleasure during my morning coffee to receive a phone call from my sister that begins not with "Hello," but with "I had a dream about crickets." Not a good dream, in case you are wondering.

So, as you can imagine, I am very open to speculation about the puzzle dream if anyone is so inclined.


Very often, I write posts that I never publish. They are sort of snippets, not fully formed ideas. Or sort of goofy. Like I once write a whole blog post about ridiculous conversations I have had with Sam. But this one is a post I had in edit mode since June 13th. I don't know why I didn't publish it, maybe because it was a dream, but since we are talking about dreams, I am cutting and pasting it here.

I step off the elevator. "You are late." My mother-in-law looks at me and walks in the other direction. "Come. Everyone is here for you."

Why is everyone here for me?

And it is a party. A baby shower party, and I look down and I'm not pregnant. And I look at my table of people, Sam, Beatrice, and then there is a little girl with black hair and dark eyes...Sam calls her Sofie, and she reaches up to me and says Mama. And..."A boy? You are getting a boy? What are you naming him?"

What are we naming him? Are we adopting a boy?

I begin writing names I love. One stands out in red and I circle it. The names of our fathers.


My eyes pop open. Beatrice. She is caught between the bed and the wall. No, maybe her leg is pinned in the bedrails. Or, she fell out of bed and is wandering around her room in pain. What is happening? And before I process completely, Sam has jumped out of bed and run into Beatrice's room. It begins again. "Ow. ow. ow. ow. ow. Oooooow." It is coming from the window. Is there a child wandering lost? No, wait, of course, this happens every year.
"Bea is fine," he says. I glance at the clock. 5:15a.
"A cat in heat," I say. "It must be a cat, because only two creatures make such a heartbreakingly creepy sound. Children and cats."
"But why do they have to say OW?"
"I don't know. It is fucking creepy. I just dreamed we adopted a baby."
"Really? Just now?"
"I wish I could dream about Lucy."
"Yeah, me too. I haven't had one since she died."
"Me either."

EDITED TO ADD: As some people are pointing out, maybe I did publish this one, then took it down? I have no memory of that, but didn't want to seem dishonest or weird about it. It was in draft form from June. I just have a shitty memory right now. Hope it doesn't matter that much if it was published for a moment in June, and then republished now...


  1. funny - we re-did our kitchen last year too... but with ikea cabinets! haha I too, am a dream lover.. i haven't dreamed of dresden in a long time.. i wish i could.

  2. I love dream analysis too.

    I had a vivid and horrible dream while I was pregnant with Isla that she died. I had brought her home from the hospital, only I wasn't living with Tim, I was living with my best friend and her sisters like I did back when I first graduated from university. I put Isla down to sleep and got busy chatting and whatever (it was like I was 22 again) and I forgot to feed her. All of a sudden it occurred to me the baby needed to eat, and I didn't know how to breastfeed, so I went to the store to buy formula and asked my friend to watch her. While I was gone, someone broke into the house and shot my baby. When I got back no one would tell me what happened or really seemed to care about the baby because my friend's brother was also shot. I ran to the hospital, and I stood in the emergency department screaming (the primal screams I am now familiar with) and no one would tell me where my baby was. I knew she was dead.

    At the time I rationalized that it was just new mom anxiety, but the dream haunted me. I also had a bunch of really weird experiences while I was pregnant where I felt as though she could die. Like when I had a hysterical fit at my 20 week scan thinking she had some sort of heart defect. I got sick during the scan because I was so stressed and I left bawling. The scan came back with no abnormalities, but I can't help but wonder now if my subconscious knew something my conscious didn't.

    I haven't dreamed of Isla since she died, but the other day I had the most wonderful dream I had a baby boy. He just sort of showed up in my house (lucky me, another baby with no anxiety ridden pregnancy and painful labour) and he was beautiful. Not in the OMG that baby is so cute he should be in magazines way, but in that, OMG you are my child and you are so incredibly beautiful and perfect way. I couldn't believe he was mine. I had a hard time believing that I could have a living baby. I took him to Tim to introduce them, and as much as I wanted his daddy to hold him, I couldn't let go of the little guy, even for a moment. Even though he was a fairly good size, I somehow knew he was premature and sick, so not only was I in disbelief that I had given birth to a living baby, I was very worried that he may die. I knew I was already madly in love, but I was trying to convince myelf to keep some emotional distance. But then I laid down with him on my chest and he lifted himself up on his little newborn arms and used all his strength to hold up his big newborn head, and he looked me straight in the eye. Somehow he was able to communicate with me through his stare, and he told me he was indeed my baby, and he loved me as much as I loved him, and was here to stay.

    It was such a powerful dream for me. I have been saying since Isla died that I do not want to try again until I could be equally excited about having a baby boy as I would be about having another baby girl (my test to make sure I was ready to have another baby and not just wanting Isla back). I've always fantasized about having a baby girl, but in an instant, I loved that baby boy just as much as I love her. The dream was so powerful, I feel like I really met him. This little soul, and he came to me in my dreams to tell me not to worry because one day he would be in my arms to stay.

    I sound like a crazy lady! Thanks for sharing your dreams. Feel free to analayze mine too :) xo

  3. I have no idea what your dream meant - but I think that it is interesting. I still don't know what to think of my dreams since I feel like I completely misinterpreted my dream where I met Maya before I was pregnant. I had a completely fucked up dream last night that I am going to write about soon - you should have a field day with it! I am curious as to what your books will say...

  4. Ang, can I fly you out to interpret my dreams? Interestingly enough, while I am usually a very vivid dreamer, I didn't remember a single dream during my pregnancy with Cayden. Not one. This pregnancy I have the wildest dreams I've ever had in my life. Last night's involved a dentist, pushing a shopping cart up a hill with a stranger, and my dog drowning. Maybe I should order a dream book...xoxo

  5. I wish I could remember dreams more clearly. Often I'm just left with a residual feeling.

    I'm very impressed by handyman Sam and I have to say I think the ladder idea sounds really cool!

  6. have you read "conscious dreaming" by robert moss? it is pretty out there, but if you are into dream stuff, you may love it. lots of techniques for remembering, tracking, and actively participating in your own dreams...

    i also love the ideas of library ladders in the kitchen. i am short and so is hubby. we climb on the counters - pathetic! xo

  7. Hmmm, might be just met, but I am sure I have read that before? The last bit about the dream. Maybe you did publish it, maybe I am pyschic or maybe you told me in an email!!?? Not sure!
    My dreams are mostly baby related these days. Generally not Hope, as few have bee about her, but more often than not this new little guy. Earlier on, he always ended up dying, or being dead. But lately, he's been living. And I like the shift there. Huge shift I might add. But I feel like I don't get long to dream as lately, I don't get long to sleep. I try to make the most of the good ones when I can.

  8. We also re-did our kitchen and our bathroom after Thomas died. The kitchen cabinets are good second hand ones, a lot neater than what was here before. The bathroom was a long drawn out proceedure because I had a Tiler that didn't want to get stuck in and get finished. I went to the Gym for a shower for about 3 months.
    I remember reading something that you wrote about having a dream about Bea and cats screaming too.

  9. You know, Sal and Julie, I don't remember if I published this and erased it or not. I know it is not part of another post, because I looked through them. My brain is fried, and it freaks me out. I did check my reader, and I didn't publish it for longer than five minutes, or however long it takes to make it into reader. And you are speedy with the updates. Awesome. Either that or you both have an amazingly psychic idiosyncrasy that means you can read blog posts even in draft form.

    Isla's mommy: Woah, the first dream is so scary. I have had some incredibly violent disturbing dreams since Lucy died. The second one is such a cool dream. I have to say the bottom dream of mine was a test of sorts for me too. I didn't think I wanted to try again until I had that dream, which is why I may or may not have published it for a second.

  10. Nope, doesn't matter one little bit! I often come back to read your old posts anyway, as there is always something I can take away from them. You could post the same thing every day for a week and I'd still read.

  11. I think it is fascinating that you know someone who invented a dream machine! I often don't remember my dreams, I wonder if I have dreamt of my girls and just don't know it. I like to think this is not the case, that I would definitely remember a dream like that. As for your dream...I have no idea, but I hope I don't dream of lettuce tonight, or crickets! xx

  12. I love interpreting dreams too!! The puzzle dream sounds so intriguing. Like its a part one a movie and part two is to come?? I wish I could dream of my angel as well...have started to fade :( For some reason when you said "Its fucking creepy" that made me smile..I'm an odd duck


What do you think?