Over Clustered

Day 38: March 9 (written)

Is this really what you want? she whispers to herself.

A gloomy haze of uncertainty twines around her throat, tightening with persistent relish. Flecks of color, some dim as smoke and others as bright as the flashes of a dewdrop under the sun, drift across her vision. Dreams and hopes. Ambitions and goals. What she might have, what she could have, what she wishes to have. What she wants to do.

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Living Dreams

Day 346

Dreams of delight and despair wage war in her waking mind.

Pale dawn gleams under the blinds; golden patches of autumn trees peek around them; frost whitens the garden outside. Autumn is in its death throes, as the chill of winter tightens its grip. She inhales the crisp air and cuddles back into her plush, cozy bed. Cashmere and wool and wonderful feather-filled coverlets help trap warmth.

She closes her eyes instead, letting the remnants of her dreams seep over her. Rather than try to decipher them, she breathes in the good and gently acknowledges the bad. She’s not sure this will do any good, but the images – the scenes and sensations – still ring vividly. A second life, a second memory. And so, she thinks, it it best to keep them alive, at least in her heart, for they seemed to speak to a deep part of her, and she could not want to lose that.

Written: 5 Nov 2016

Words: 156

Inspired: life/environment this morning/me/my dreams/my night

Dreams, Giving Up, and my Thoughts

I feel very mixed up. 

Tumblr indicates that learning to live with what you get is what growing up or real life is like. Or is it more that sometimes having a job and money is not inferior to your dreams? But like…I’ve always tried to live with small dreams. Small desires. Small goals. Keep thing small. Be quiet. Non-obtrusive. Live quietly. I just want to be stable and have financial security. I’ve accepted that any job I have will be low level and maybe not the best but it will be better than nothing. 

At the same time… 

I don’t know. I don’t even know what I’m saying. I just…I don’t know. Like I never had any big dreams. The most I ever wanted was to experience new things, live a little. But that was six years ago and I still haven’t gotten to do that. So it’s not like I can have less of a dream or that I’ll have to settle for less of a dream, but I’ve accumulated myself to the veracity of drudgery. Of a future that is hard and probably with money and hopefully some security. It’ll be the life I see other people my age living. I’ll be like everyone else. But that’s the story of my life. Be like everyone else. I hear and read other people’s stories — about college, about work, about their art, about their relationships, about money, about bills, about mental health — and I absorb that. That’s the right way to be exist, you know? And I’ve never existed right from the day I was born. 

But what do I want? Or more on point: is it okay to dream for big things? Tumblr says not to. I tell myself not to, either to ensure I don’t do better at things than my twin, I relish in failure (at least when it comes to my creative writing), or I’ve never had anything I wanted.

If I’m honest the only time I burn with any meaning is when I love someone. That and environmental subjects. 

All I’ve ever wanted is a quiet life. I also wanted to create pictures with words. That’s why I decided to be a writer. Not to tell stories (although I love them), but to create visual art with words. Like animation with words. It doesn’t have to tell a story or have engaging or deep characters, but it has to have some kind of art to it. At least that was my initial impulse. But if I could write a story that matters to someone that would…that would be grand. But is that possible? Is that something I could hope for and work toward! Is that something I could aim for? Is that allowed? Is it okay to want something?

I guess I’ve never had any strong goals, except experience life (“I want to see the world and write a book about it!”). I can get by on gliding but working hard… I give up so easily. If something was too hard or made me anxious or felt like too much work, I always had the option of backing out. If anything at all bothered me growing up, I could just stop and not do it. Usually. I only did things because I liked doing them. I think this originated with being a preemie. Like a really critical preemie. Like I don’t have functional esophagus preemie. (I got better, though I still got to make sure I don’t get clogged on certain food textures.) The problem was that it made my mom not want me (or my sister) to have any difficulties while we were growing up. The problem now is that this instilled in me an easy-out card. Damn.

Of course that doesn’t explain why I have no belief in my writing ever really being published, why rejections relieve me, or whether it’s okay to have a concrete dream.

Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There

by Lewis Carroll

Compared to Wonderland, the Looking-Glass world is less oddity and more a reverse world that plays on words. Oh, the transitions and events of each square are rightly lucid but the structure seems based on polarity or clever logic.

For example, the White Queen knows what will happen next week; the Red Queen can run as fast as possible without getting anywhere; and to cut the plum cake for the Lion and the Unicorn, Alice has to serve it first. There’s a sense that things are done in a reverse order.

Anything that isn’t evokes a strong sense of literary wordplay. For one, Alice literally meets Humpty Dumpty, and second, the text is full of poetry, some of it derived from actual poems that characters recite for Alice.

Additionally, there are creatures who are a play on ordinary ones through their words: a rocking-horse-fly, bread-and-butter-fly, and snap-dragon-fly (which I especially liked the sound of):

“Its body is made of plum-pudding, its wings of holly-leaves, and its head is a raisin burning in brandy.”

“And what does it live on?” Alice asked, as before.

“Frumenty and mince-pie,” the Gnat replied; “and it makes its nest in a Christmas box.” (182).

What’s lovely about it, is that it sounds like a creature of Christmas. Made of holiday items or winter finery, it evokes the holiday. Or at least what I think was associated with it at the time.

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Summons

Day 129

TERROR GRIPPED HER. From beyond the flimsy white cotton barrier around her room, she heard the anguished pleas of a recent mother; the doctors, of course, didn’t listen. She kept her feet on the floor, the crisp translucent marble a solid reminder to stay in control. Her son was with her.

They had summoned her in the middle of a mission; the market that hummed with voices, the crinkle of paper sacks, the fragrance of tea. She had been stalking around one of the expensive restaurants when her superior called her over: Her younger children were sick.

So she had left immediately, gratefully and quickly reunited with her oldest child. A slim doctor, faced shaved to reveal a trim chin and harried eyes, said, Follow me. So she did.

Carrying her son in her arms, they walked down a spiraling staircase…


Written: 13 Jan 2016

Words: 141

Inspired: literal dream + its strong emotions

A/N: this felt relevant this morning

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

The Guardians: Book One

by William Joyce and Laura Geringer

“He was not a wizard, a thief, or a warrior, but a powerful figure of unending mirth, mystery, and magic, who lived in a city surrounded by snow” (Joyce, 189).
Chapter Nineteen – Chapter Twenty-Four

As I said last time, for the second half of Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, I recorded my responses and thoughts in a collective whole but based on length are divided into two posts.

Here’s the second.

Pitch had just turned North and Ombric into toys. So, on the subject of Pitch, let’s talk about his goals and feelings, shall we?

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Day 137: A Future

AN ENDLESS FUTURE stretched in front of her.

Squeezing her eyes shut, she wished to ignore it, forget it, deny it. The future in her dream, while certainly tired and confusing, at least was a future that moved forward. A search in a mysterious city marked by erratically rotating symbols that would tell you where you were. A autumnal coastline that sang of new chances and lost moments. But at least it had felt alive.

Only bleak eternity was her award on wakening.


Written: 23 Jan 2016

Words: 80

Inspired: a dream and a little Sleeping Beauty