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Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

blue stone in water

blue stone in water in black bowl

One night a year or so ago, I entered my childhood home and walked into the kitchen.  The light was low and the air was warm.  I sat at the table with my mother, feeling welcomed as always.  Just as I did when I returned home from college, I began to tell her the stories of my daily life, the ups, the downs and all that lay in between.  I told her about the people I cared about and worried about.  I opened up a bit more than usual and began to share mistakes made and the opportunities I saw on the horizon.  I explained how I felt older, not sure about wiser,  but at least tempered by life and was looking forward to trying to apply some of the lessons learned.

blue stone in water, branches reflected

blue stone in water, branches reflected

She listened attentively, as she had always done, and on occasion, she smiled as I described some silliness of mine.  As I paused to take a deep breath, I admired how wonderful she looked, the smoothness of her caramel skin, the fullness of her brown hair reaching her proud shoulders, the strength in her arms, and the brightness of her eyes.  She was the strong woman of my youth, not the more fragile woman of my adulthood.  And yet I sat before her as an adult.

blue stone in water and branches reflected, in motion

blue stone in water and branches reflected, tilting the bowl

Still trying to catch my breath, I managed to say, “Ma, I’ve been telling you stuff that happened after you died, haven’t I?” She nodded. We stood and she pulled me into her arms.  She felt soft and warm and held me tight.  “That’s right, baby,” she said. ” And you’ve got a lot more stuff to do.  My time has passed but this isn’t your time.”  I woke up gasping for breath … which is what I had needed to do since I’d been having trouble breathing in my sleep.

rocks in water

rocks in water

I have not visited my mother’s grave, or my father’s, in well over a decade.  My main memories of the site are actually based on the stories my brother told of walking through the area with flower seeds in his pocket and letting them fall when the caretaker wasn’t looking.  I don’t know if those flowers ever bloomed but I feel like I carry them with me wherever I go, just as I carry my mother.  Or perhaps, she still carries me.

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lime and apple mint

lime and apple mint

… but I did not dream of growing up to become a chef, like Jackie Hill did.  Of course, I had a toy camera and I never dreamed of growing up to become a photographer.  You never know what a day — or a life — will hold, do you?  Those random  thoughts were inspired by this beautiful article about a woman following her dreams.

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This morning I had a dream about two wonderfully portly smiling charcoal-skinned angels.  Now I know how the brain can pull together all sorts of images and concepts in an attempt to help one stay in bed.  I had already hit the alarm twice.  My brain was working overtime to keep me settled in the warmth.  You see, I do have a dark angel in the house — a holiday ornament of a little brown girl with close cropped hair.  For days I had been humming that song by Radiohead about black eyed angels swimming with me. And yesterday a certain painter hinted that he was feeling inspired by William Blake.  So, of course, I had pulled up William Blake images to view his vision of humanity in all its earthy, robust glory. So why wouldn’t I dream of black-eyed, dark-skinned angels smiling at me? Later I decided to take a break in my day and google such a scene.  Imagine my surprise at what I found.

In the late 1890s, photographer George N. Barnard had photographed the daily life of South Carolina’s denizens in all their various shades.  In an ode to Raphael’s angels, he had two young African American boys pose with pondering expressions upon their faces.  Eventually he (or someone else?) placed wings upon their backs to complete the scene.

black angels 3

I’ve already tracked down a biography about Mr. Barnard, a famed American Civil War photographer.  I’m looking forward to learning more about him, and of the story behind this photograph of the South Carolina Cherubs.  But if you already know the story, please share.

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Inspiration comes in many forms, and in this case, it was stumbling upon the store Old Japan Inc. in Boston’s South End.  Walking through the shop was a dream but the best part was being able to walk out the door with a small cache of origami papers.

They are helping me to view “old” objects around the house in new ways …

… as well as add new elements to my “Paper Worlds.”

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