11 May 2010

All I Have to Do Is Dream

Last night was a stupidly late one. I went to sleep, knowing I'd more than borrowed from today's energy supply. When I hear people talk about living within their means, I think of other resources besides money. Sleep is one of the main areas of my life where I'm almost always in debt—too often I burn up all my reserves and dip into tomorrow. This is a pattern that's got to change.

As I was going to sleep (always tricky once I've ventured so far beyond the witching hour), I prayed a while about this and a number of other chronic hang-ups that are getting me down. It was a more natural, more raw conversation than I've had in prayer for a while; it felt like the questions and frustrations were flowing out of me quickly and honestly. No answers came, except for the feeling of having been heard. That helped me slow my mind down, let go, and sleep.

This morning I woke up from an interesting dream. I had a large clear glass vessel with a rounded shape, some pumpkin-esque seams, and a small non-threaded neck without a lid. Backstory from my waking life: some years ago when I lived in another part of town, I served my first tour of duty as ward Young Women president. In preparation for summer camp, our camp director led the girls and adult leaders in making campfire/secret stash seats from plastic food storage buckets, cushions, and fabric. She brought all kinds of different paints for us to use to personalize our projects. She and I also brought line drawings and designs the group could tape to the insides of their buckets and use as guides, if needed. So in my dream, I had this glass vessel, clean and new, a nice shape. In the dream's backstory, I had apparently been trying to figure out how to get a pattern into the bottle. I needed to do this foundational step of placing and tracing the pattern in preparation for personalizing the piece, before I could begin to lay down beautiful colors on the outside. One problem was the size of the bottleneck; it was impossible to fit my hand into the bottle for any reason. The second problem was the shape of the thing. It had no flat surfaces except for the very bottom, so even if I could have slipped a pattern into the bottle, it wouldn't have taken on the right shape to be useful. I couldn't have made any necessary adjustments. This situation already existed at the start of my dream. 

So I had this vessel and this problem. I was stuck. But I was busy doing other things, focused on parts of my life other than the impasse. Then right in the middle of some thoughts about a different subject a solution came to me. I could clearly see the answer to the problem; it was to get a large uninflated balloon, draw the pattern onto it with a black Sharpie marker, slip the balloon into the bottle while keeping the lip of it accessible outside the bottleneck, blowing the balloon up until the breath pushed it into every part of the bottle, tying off the balloon, tracing the inside pattern to the outside, then letting the air out of the balloon in order to to pull it out. I was astonished and overjoyed by this unexpected inspiration. The feeling of victory was in strong contrast to having pretty much given up on figuring out how to finish my glass as beautifully as I was supposed to. 

As I was waking up, I realized that it was only the first step, and that there remained more problems to solve in this process, like how to get the pattern right on the balloon, all the way around so it would properly fill the glass. Or where to get a balloon already patterned that way. I began to feel anxious and wonder if I really had gotten a good answer after all, but then I decided to shelve the worry and feel confident in my little vision; the other parts would come. I was excited to wake up and get to work on my glass.

Then I wasn't sleeping anymore. I felt excited until I stopped to ask myself, "What glass?"

Many thoughts on that subject today, but now it's late, past the witching hour again, and I've got to sleep.


PTO said...

That dream gave you the emotion of excitement and hope that you need. I love it. I love dreams, especially when they are hugs, like the one the other night when I was watching a monsson storm and subsequent sunset with my grandpa, snuggled up in a wheelchair with a blanket in Tucson in August....?

Anonymous said...

OOPS--that was me, JAMIE, wearing my PTO hat.

anna said...

The balloon is still the perfect solution, you can blow it up, draw the design in sharpie, then let the air out (there are lots of ways to tie it off while you draw) and then stick it in the bottle and blow it up again. Great solution! I was wondering while I was reading it what you would come up with, I think it's genius.