Tuesday’s Theme Music

Hello to my fellow earthbound carbon-based life forms, and I include the non-sentient. You know who you are (ha, ha).

Today is Tuesday, November 11, 2021, where time keeps speeding up. Or is it just me? Nature regaled us with a windstorm that sounded like ocean waves crashing out in the street. Rain splayed all over every outdoor surface. Yet all is calm and sunny this morning. The sun glided into the valley on light golden wings at 6:54 AM and will bath us with her light until 4:55 PM. Temperatures will, per the season, hang between 38 and 55 degrees F.

A Bob Seger ballad from 1978 has infiltrated the morning mental music stream. Blame it on the weather. Blame it on the cats. See, heavy winds were blowing. Precipitation was dashing against the house. It was almost midnight. Temps weren’t bad at 43 degrees F. And Youngblood, the ginger sweetheart formally known as Papi (formerly known as Meep) wanted out. I explained to him about the weather. How I didn’t like him going out at all. But he’s a youngfloof. Stubborn and persistent. Though I kept telling him, why don’t you stay in, he demanded to be let out. I caved. He was back in fifteen minutes, when he then just retired to sleep a few hours.

Anyway, my words to him prompted “We’ve Got Tonight” to begin playing because, “Why don’t you stay?” Seeing how it’s entrenched amongst my neurons, I thought I’d offer a reminder of the song up to the greater world.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax and booster when you can. I’m scheduled for my booster next Tuesday, a week from today. Let’s be safe out there. Here’s the music. I must go make my coffee. Cheers

Thursday’s Trinkets

  1. Feels like a Saturday. Odd, for me. I haven’t worked for a company where I kept a schedule for several years. You’d think the days of the week would’ve lost their feel by now.
  2. How does Saturday feel? Less structured. Freer. More relaxed and less stressed. Comfortable as a pair of your favorite shoes. Full of expectation that something good is just about to happen.
  3. Mood was dark earlier in the week. Ah, the standard black cycle. Went into a snarling depression. Thinking about what/how to write a scene, I sulked. ‘Thoughts went, I’ll be sixty-five years old next year, struggling to finish a novel. Written fifteen. Published four on Amazon to no great success. Agents are barely interested in what I submit to them, and I don’t pursue getting published with any great energy. Why am I wasting my time with this shit?’ Then I went mumbling away, did some other things, and thought, oh, this is what happens, and went back and resumed writing. Mine is a fickle mind, probably like most people. The fact is, I enjoy writing, and employing my imagination to create puzzles for my mind to solve, then scrambling to find he words. That’s writing, innit?
  4. Some of the week’s hours were spent helping my wife. She belongs to an exercise class. They meet every MoWedFri at nine AM via Zoom. Pre-COVID, it was an hour earlier at a gym. The instructor has been teaching this class for forty years, and my wife has been going for fifteen. We’ve made many friends through the class, including the instructor and her hubby. The class also launched my wife’s book club. Each year for Christmas, the class members take up a collection and sign a card for the instruction. Well, hard to do that this year. So I set up a private Gofundme for them. We worked with the Y on a letter that was sent to the members. Then I created an eighteen inch by thirty inch prop check for my wife to use to present the collection to the instructor. The prop came out okay, although elements reminded me of a fifth-grade project. But we had to use what we had on hand. It’s the thought that counts, right? The class took up over eleven hundred dollars. Knowing the instructor and her hubby, who aren’t in need, they’ll share it with others who are in need. They’re quite generous people.
  5. Setting up the Gofundme was extremely easy. It impressed me with how simple it was. Which had been my impression, leading to why I helped my wife. She and her friends were thinking it was technical and required computer savvy. It doesn’t.
  6. Reading Bill Bryson’s book, The Body: A Guide for Occupants. It’s rich with history and details. Great expanding knowledge. I’m not as intimate with my body’s functioning as I’d like to be. That’s one reason why I selected this book as a read. As I’ve aged and endured some minor health issued (enlarged prostate gland, broken arm, high blood pressure), I wanted to know more details about myself. I’ve been reading on the net, pursuing symptom after symptom, organ after organ, getting more granular with processes and functions. I suspect many people take up the same pastime of learning more about their body as they age. I keep thinking that I should’ve paid more attention when I was younger. You know, before things began giving me problems, right?
  7. Ran into a friend at the grocery store. I was checking out, he was coming in. About eight AM on Wed. We were both masked and had hats on. I said, “Pat.” He stopped in front of me, six feet away, and stared. “Who is that?” “Seidel.” “Michael!” A smile lit his eyes. “Didn’t know you. Hat. Mask.” We chatted for about ten seconds, and then pressed on. Not great socializers, either one of us, but it was pleasant encountering him.
  8. Watched Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom last night. Fraught with dialogue, tension, and foreshadowing, the film kept me focused. Strong characters…well, strong in every area and value. Viola Davis is on the shortlist of actors that always shade my opinion of a movie. If she’s in it, I’m more likely to be drawn to watching it. All that I’ve seen her in, she impresses me. Chadwick Boseman had also joined the list so it was crushing to hear of his death. Gotta say again, though, white people are often cruel, greedy assholes. Which, as a white person, pisses me off.
  9. It’s been a windy week. My cats DO NOT LIKE WIND. Tucker refuses to leave the house. His position is fine with me; he’s safer in the house. Boo the house panther likes to go out in the morning for a few hours in the back yard (if there’s sunshine) and an hour in the evening on the front porch. Papi, though, (aka the ginger boy, Youngblood, and Meep) despises the wind. He goes out the back and returns to the front, banging on to get back in. Does this six to eight times a day. Bored in the house but too bothered by the wind (and the cold) to stay out. Poor boy. I wrote about his feelings about the wind last month in The Despised Wind.
  10. My Fitbit report said that I did eighty-seven miles last week, three less than the week before. I thought, bullshit. I don’t know how that thing counts. Yes, I know the principles they employ; I’m just dubious of the results. Still, I keep trying to maintain a twelve-miles-a-day average. Need some sort of goal to focus.
  11. Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time. Happy holidays, whatever one it is which you recognize or celebrate. Remember, stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, social distance, and get the vaccine. Cheers

The Despised Wind

The despised wind is here,

ruffling my ginger fur,

and cutting through my sunshine.

Teasing all my senses,

shaking all the fences,

and causing a great disruption.

It makes me quiver,

it makes me quake,

with the noises it does make.

Oh, the despised wind is here,

so I’m heading there,

into the house where it’s not.

More Stormy Dreams

A series of powerful, uplifting dreams rolled through me last night.

Each one presented an unusual or alarming situation, and all had to do with weather phenomena. I often dream about weather. It’s like a standard element in my dreams. I suspect that’s true for many people.

In the first dream, I was striving to go up a sparsely vegetated steep mountainside. I felt it imperative that I reach the top. Strong winds were slamming me back. Not only did it seem like the winds were slowing me down, but seeing a precipice not far away, I thought, “I’m going to blow off this mountain.” Trying to hang onto something, anything, damn it, everything kept falling away. First a walking stick snapped in half. Shoved back past trees, I lunged for branches. I missed at first, then caught some, which promptly broke. Though I windmilled my arms to grab another branch, the wind took me from the trees.

Dropping to the ground — whether I fell or did this deliberately wasn’t clear — I saw a handle in the earth. Seizing it, I thought, why is there a handle here, and then gathered, its a tree root.

All this is in sharp relief because, bang, I awoke to the sound of the wind beating our bedroom blinds. Which, I thought, with a chortle, closing the window, was probably what prompted that dream. It’s also somewhat of a recurring dream, this against the wind on a mountainside motif.

Back asleep in seconds (so it felt), I found myself alone in a pouring rain. Was it day or night? So deep and thick was the rain, I couldn’t tell. The crashing precipitation veiled the world in heavy gray wool but also battered my face as I tried to see, forcing me to protect it with my hands. Yet, I also needed my hands to hold on.

With that realization, I saw that I was ankle deep in cold water. I needed to get somewhere higher, but looked for escape and couldn’t see any. I thought I saw something yellow but it came and went too fast for me to confirm it. Deciding there must’ve been something, I forced myself that way.

The water was over my knees and its current was increasing. Fighting the current was sapping my strength. I couldn’t see and needed my hands to hold onto something that I’d found — couldn’t tell what, and it was wet and slippery — but then let go to try to wipe rain off my face.

I fell backwards into the water. The current immediately victimized me. My head went under. I gulped water and struggled for air while fighting to stop myself and get the fuck up as the water carried me along like a leaf.

My back came up against something hard in the flood waters. I didn’t know or care what it was but used it to leverage myself up. Right then, I turned my head to get my face out of the rain, and saw a yellow light. Rectangular, it was a door or window, and very clear and yellow against the gloom. I headed for it…

And was again awakened. I don’t know what woke me — cat, wind, my mending arm in pain from being in a contorted position, or general discomfort. The dream haunted me while my mind chased connections between the first dream and the second. Similarities were easily seen. I meditated on them as a cat found me, purring in the dark as I drifted off again.

I wasn’t alone in this dream, but with friends and family. Clear and balmy, the weather didn’t seem to be a factor. I’m not sure if we were on a picnic or at a celebration or what the deal was. Everyone was chatting and laughing, and a gay mood generally prevailed. Food on platters and in bowls crowded tables.

Yet, I found myself growing wary, and while that happened, I distanced myself from the rest in search of what was disturbing me. I hunted clues for it like one of those games presented in a ‘spot the difference’ diversion in a newspaper or magazine. I felt suspicious, like I was leery of something sneaking up on me, which seemed unreasonable. The weather seemed clear and everyone seemed happy. Why shouldn’t I be relaxed and happy?

I awoke and guessed the time: yep, seven twenty-five. My cats have trained my bladder to awaken and pee then. They (the cats, not the bladder) clamored for food and attention but I wasn’t yielding to their demands. I didn’t feel rested; I wanted more sleep. Yet, oddly, reflecting on these three dreams as I lay in bed, I felt fortified, like I’d endured something and came out stronger. And my mood, when I finally acquiesced to the inevitable and got out of bed twenty minutes later, seemed upbeat.

All these dreams are part of my regular dreamscape, presenting some variation of theme. This time, I thought they were like a weather storm system, moving through and clearing my subconscious as fronts will do in a region. It feels like that, because the day seems hopeful with promise.

Or just maybe, that’s the coffee.

Fickle Winds

I wrote about our local wildfire this morning. The fire was put out, so huzzah! Some homes destroyed…

I went on with my normal life for about an hour. I then turned back to netborhoods for fire updates and experienced heavy shock.

The fire had spread north. Going from less than a hundred acres, it was now over a thousand acres. While the wind had dissipated in our area, it stayed strong elsewhere. Pushed by the wind, the fire was spreading along the Interstate 5 corridor on the southern side.

Highways were being closed. Smoke filled the air…north of us. Neighborhoods, businesses, hemp farms, and wineries were evacuated. School classes were canceled.

Tuning in to other news revealed that numerous other fires were burning fast in southern Oregon, forcing evacuations, closing roads, destroying buildings, chasing wildlife. Central Point, Eagle Point, to the west, areas to the northeast two hours away.

Sifting through the news, I realized how fortunate we’d been. The fire started about three and a half miles away. A fortunate wind saved us, to the detriment of others.

The wind is still out there, though. All of Jackson County is at level one: be ready to go.

I packed some things in the car, just in case. Fickle winds can’t be trusted.

Disrupted

Nothing to see here. Just some first world venting blended with some humbrag complaining.

My writing concentration today has come like a reluctant child who’s itching to leave as soon as possible. I blame events, beginning with yesterday.

Yesterday was another hot one. Not a scorcher, it reached 99. It’s a scorcher when it goes over one hundred. Night temps had gone down to the mid-sixties the night before, enabling us to open windows and cool the house at night in the morning before buttoning up and enduring the day.

The temp was slow in dropping, though, still at 86 at 9:30 PM and 84 in the house. The office, where we read, surf the net, and watch our telly, was the hottest room, at 87. We, being staunch supporters of the church of miserly spending, eschewed the air con and just turned on a fan. Finally, though, I did a skin test. Walking outside and then returning in to feel the difference, I decreed it felt cooler outside, so I opened up windows for a welcome breeze.

Thirty minutes later, a strong wood smoke scent russhed in. “Winds must have shifted,” I said, mostly to myself. My wife was doing a puzzle and didn’t acknowledge my comment. The cats heard me, but I’d not mentioned food, so they were already on to staring at one another again, in case one of them tried something. I hoped that shifting winds was the source, even as I worried. We have several smaller fires burning within twenty-five miles. Sometimes, though, California wildfire smoke follows I5 up through the pass and down into our valley.

This smoke was worryingly strong. I closed the windows, muttering curses as I did. Going outside, the smell hit me like a broom to the face. Going back in, I said, “Wow, that smoke is really strong. You should check it out.” Worrying about new fires and evacuation, I hunkered down on the net.

Yes, the AQI had skyrocketed from around a pleasant and green twenty-five to a red, unhealthy one fifty-seven.

WTH?

Nothing from the city nor the fire department, but others on our local nets were wondering and worrying, too. In the fire department’s opinion, the smoke was coming from the 350 acre Grizzly Creek fire that firefighters have been battling.

Yet, they had noticed the smoke — and now there was falling ash. “There aren’t any reports of new fires,” the fire department said. “But if you see some flames, call us.”

Well, sure as shit, we will.

Responding to my comments, my wife went outside. Returning with wide eyes, she said, “It’s terrible out there. The smoke is really thick at the bottom of the hill.”

I went out to check again. The smoke was worse than before.

Nothing to do about it but grit our teeth and stay vigilant, my wife and I told each other and the cats, retiring to our evening routines. It was midnight. She went to bed to read while I stayed up watching telly and checking the net for new local fire news. The cats asked to go out. “No, dummies, it’s too smoky. You’ll ruin your lungs.”

Later, in bed, the wind was suddenly howling like a lonely beagle outside our window, beating up the trees, and punishing anything loose in the yard, knocking things around like a hyper cat expending energy. My wife whispered about her anxieties. I listened, wondering, is that the fence? The trash can was on the street because it was trash day. I worried about the can getting blown over, letting our contents flee on the wind.

6:30ish, I looked outside. The gray ashy sky made me gasp. Shit, to the ‘puter.

The net was down.

Terrific.

Verifying the trash can was upright and in place (and the fence was standing, and nothing was damaged), I reset the system. Walking around outside, the wind was still strong (forty mile an hour gusts was what I later read), shaking the trees and bushes. The cats were with me on the inspection round, but each time a sharp gust struck, the three headed back into the house floof haste

The net returned. Hallelujah. Eagerly I hunted news. It was there: a grass fire had sprung up in the city on the other end of town. With the winds, everyone was told to go to Level 1 and be prepared to leave. Those in the immediate area of the fire were issued immediate leave orders. I5, just a few hundred yards behind the fire, was shut down in both directions. The traffic cameras showed empty lanes southbound and double lines of idling traffic northbound.

Looking out the office toward the northwest part of town, I confirmed, yep, I see smoke.

Damn it. I reviewed checklists, supplies, and go bags. Which way to go. Well, north, of course, because south led to California, which was on fire. Except north required us to use I5. I5 was closed, and all of the town would be leaving on highway 99, a road that varies between two and four lanes and has multiple traffic lights. However, Highway 99 was also closed, just outside of town. Thus, we can’t go north.

A situation update arrived. People were returning to their homes. The city was issuing reassurances that nobody needed to evacuate the city. It looked like the interstate was being re-opened for travel. The wind faded away like…a dying wind. The sky is blue and smells fresh again, though the horizons are smudged.

Fire damages from the area are trickling in. We fared better than Malden, Washington, Colorado, California, and other places. No one was hurt. Yet, there are reports that another neighboring small town, Talent, had parts evacuated. The story continues.

I have my coffee. (It’s my second cup, if I’m honest, but why start now?) Time to settle down and write like crazy, at least one more time.

Friday’s Theme Music

A cool mountain wind came by late yesterday, serving to dispatch summer’s edgy warmth.

Such a welcome combo. I was relaxing after another wall-painting session. I wanted to take a walk but was ambivalent, mostly because it was about eight PM.

(‘Take a walk’ is an interesting expression. When I hear/write/read that line, I often imagine people with numbers waiting in line. You know, take a number, take your place, take a seat, take a walk. Just word associations.)

Decided not to go walking, but as I was thinking and enjoying the mild, cool wind and watching the change from day (distant apricot sunset in the west, indigo sky rising at the zenith, the moon, clear and shiny, riding the southern sky), a Scorpions song came to mind.

“Wind of Change” (1991) is such a mellow song, it definitely answered the moment.

The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Listen.

 

Dark and Stormy Dreams

Last night was a serene, cool night but wild storms were on the dream menu.

One dream began with me outside, on a worn but mostly green hillock. I think I was in a park, as copses of trees grew around open spaces and statues.

Although bright afternoon blue associated with summer was overhead, dark clouds gathered, moving in like they were answering a whistle. People, including me, were anxious. Talking persisted all around me. All were strangers, though, and I couldn’t understand exactly what they were saying.

I was thinking that I needed to get inside and safe before the storm broke but I was worried about my friends and family. I was also puzzled; I didn’t see any of them but I was certain that they’d been with me. Looking for them, I became frantic as the temperature dropped and the clouds darkened into a fresh charcoal briquette darkness.

I started walking fast. Others were running. Growing drumming like a drum and bugle corp was approaching announced the storm’s beginning. Lightning licked from north to south in long and spectacular prolonged, brilliant slashes, captivating and frightening me. With a sharp suddenness, a wind howled through, knocking me over. After rolling and tumbling, I struggled against the wind to stand.

I heard rain hammering the ground. A deluge like a fire hose was being sprayed began. As lightning struck trees and thunder shook the air and explosions boomed, the wind tossed and slammed me, eventually shoving me against a tree trunk. Arching with pain, soaked and cold, I managed to hang onto the tree as the wind tore my clothes and hair. I was shivering with cold and fear.

With lightning striking everywhere around me, I thought, I can’t stay here. I need to get out of here. Nothing was visible for the heavy rain and dim light. I didn’t know where to go. Desperate for movement, I struck out blindly.

The wind drove me forward and then lifted me. I tried grabbing the ground but the wind took me on a ride toward the trees. As I spun and spotted the looming branches, I was sure that I was going to be impaled and killed, but the wind carried me above the trees.

In seconds, I was out of the storm. The wind calmed but still carried me. Feeling its energy dissipating, I was sure I was going to plummet to the Earth and die. As I looked down to see where I’d land and  what I could do about it, I realized that I was over the storm, and flying above it. 

A cat hissing awoke me then. Scrambling out of bed to confront the situation, I saw that Boo was telling Papi that he couldn’t come in through the pet door. Boo ran out of the room and down the hall and Papi sallied in. Since I was up, I went to pee and think about the vivid dream, as my mind stayed wrapped in it.

It’d been a shockingly vivid dream.

The Ledge Dream

A vivid dream struck me when I was in the kitchen making my coffee this morning. Impossibly intense, I rushed into the other room to remember and record it. Honestly, I don’t know how much was dream, imagination filling in gaps, or a partially remembered television show or movie.

Following a path, I jogged through a forest of thick, tall trees, like redwood and sequoia. Mists and low gray fog kept everything cool, dark, and quiet. Something tripped me. As I fell, I tried catching myself, and spun backwards, flailing to grab anything to keep me upright. I broke into a circle of sunlight. As I wondered why that was, I heard crashing and then realized I was falling over a cliff.

Thinking that I wanted to go face first, I twisted my torso around. One foot was still on the ground. Looking ahead, I saw crashing waves. Knowing that I couldn’t go back, I shoved hard with my foot, hoping to launch myself out over the waves and away from the cliff.

A wind caught me, slamming me back into the cliff face. I hit with my left side. Grunting, I spotted a root sticking out, and lunged for it. Missing, I crashed onto rock. Pain soaked me. I couldn’t move and thought I’d surely broken many things and was on the verge of death, but the hurts subsided. When I sat up, a hard, salt-laced wind smashed my face. Squinting against it, I looked out over a sunlit body of gray water. I thought, Pacific.

It looked like late afternoon. I was on a flat ledge about twenty feet long and eight feet wide. Past it was a sheer drop to the riotous sea hundreds of feet below. Placing it against my knowledge of heights from working in a tall building, I guessed I was about fifteen stories high. The top from which I’d fallen was about twenty feet above my head. I wondered if I could climb back up there. I didn’t think I’d survive or be rescued if I stayed where I was. I’d been traveling alone. Nobody was expecting me. No one would miss me for days. My car was parked at least a mile away because I’d been walking and running, enjoying the cool, fresh air. I hadn’t seen anyone else.

I stood. Growing fierce, the wind knocked me back into the cliff. I worried that I was going to be blown off the ledge and looked for something to hold onto. That’s when I saw a body on the ledge’s other end. After some time to stomach the thought, I approached it enough steps to see that they’d been dead a while and was mostly decayed. From the flapping remnants of clothing and hair, and the jewelry I noticed, I took it to be a white woman with graying red hair.

Wondering if she’d fallen as I had, I crept closer. She was dressed in a sheer, flowering orange and yellow skirt, white blouse, and tannish jacket. Dark spots blotted her clothes like a Rorschach test. One shoe was missing. A pair of broken sunglasses were beside her head. I thought that she’d been bloodied when she’d fallen, but it was also possible that she’ been killed first and tossed over the side. Both ideas disturbed me.

I didn’t see any purse or wallet. I didn’t think there’d be identification in her clothes. I didn’t want to look. The wind blew her clothes around. I avoided seeing her too closely.

Moving back and flattening against the cliff, I checked myself for injuries. I had none. Checking the cliff above me again, I saw roots sticking out. I didn’t trust them. I’d tried using roots to climb hills before. They tend to snap off without warning. If that happened, I’d probably end up in the sea. I didn’t think I’d survive the fall.

I didn’t want to stay there. I had to find a way to get out of there. Hunting toe and hand holds, I started to climb, and then saw an irregularity in the cliff above the body. Reluctant to get too close to her, I slipped toward the space and saw that it looked like a mud-splattered door. I stood, looking at the door, and then the body, thinking how strange a door in that cliff was, growing almost certain, given its placement, that the body’s existence there was related to the door. A door meant a building, though. I hadn’t seen any buildings above. If there was a building, it was underground.

The setting sun had gone behind a fog bank on the horizon. It was going to get dark soon and already nippier. The wind was a constant, growling force.

I was in a quandary. I didn’t want to stay on the ledge. I didn’t think I could climb up the cliff in the dark. I might be able to reach the door, but the body’s presence made me dubious about using the door. Forced to move because of the dimming light, bolder and more desperate, I went over to the door, regarded it. Its bottom was level with my head. What looked like iron handles thrust in cement were to the door’s right side, leading up from the ledge. The iron was old and rusted. Some holds were missing or twisted and broken.

Lacking choices, I said good-bye to the woman, promising her that I’d lead others to her, and struggled up the holds. They were narrow, cut into my hands, and were too small for my feet. The wind had worsened and was screaming in my ears. My fingers were numbed with cold. I was sure that if I let go, I was done. I kept telling myself, “Don’t let go, don’t let go.”

Getting my shoulders even with the handle, I contorted myself to get a grip on it. Glancing down, I gaped into the growing dusk.

The woman was gone. I thought, the wind must have blown her off. I didn’t know if that was possible, but what else could have happened?

Up close, I could tell the door was metal. Holding onto the handle with one hand, I banged on it with the other. I barely heard the noise over the wind. I turned the handle. It went easily, but I couldn’t pull it open. Either the handle didn’t work, or the wind was keeping it closed.

That’s where memory ended, with me hanging onto the handle as darkness fell and a salty wind assaulting me. In reflection, I wondered about how much of this felt like a metaphor for my life, that I felt like I’d arrived somewhere by accident, and was now trapped, without choices.

Or, maybe, it was just a half-remembered television show or movie, infused into my imagination and dreams.

The Silent Dream

I dreamed I was walking on a sidewalk by a city street. It seemed familiar. Across the street was a cemetery. Heavy, old trees protect the graves and mossy, tilted head stones. Squirrels, jays, and robins dash around the cemetery lawn. The grass is high and rich with tiny, white flowers. I can see that the wind is blowing.

As I notice the waving grass and tree branches, I realize that I don’t hear anything. That disturbs me. It’s unnerving. I’m walking, and cars are passing, but it’s all a silent movie. I see birds but I don’t hear them. A jet flying overhead leaves chemtrails but not sound.

Turning a corner, I come up on an intersection and watch others walking and talking. They seem to be hearing. Cars and trucks pass without a sound. Red, amber, and blue lights flashing, a firetruck silently passes.

The wind grows stronger, and it’s more difficult to walk or even stand. I can feel the sun’s warmth on me. In fact, I feel too hot, and sweat sheathes my back. Ah, so not all of my senses are affected. I can feel heat and the wind, and I see everything going on.

Turning into the wind, I test my sense of smell. Rich odors of burning marijuana, baked goods, cut grass, exhaust gases, and wet earth reach me. I smile as I smell them. Relief creeps in. I can smell things. I’m only not hearing. Why can’t I hear?

A weird epiphany that the wind of change is blowing strikes me. As I stand and think about that, I suddenly hear everything going on. It was like the world had been muted, and now it was un-muted. Listening, I walk back toward the intersection.

So the dream ends, with me standing at the intersection, listening and watching everything around me, and thinking. When I awaken, I stay in bed, thinking and listening, going through a memory of the dream.

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