Posts Tagged ‘silly dreams’

A dear friend of mine from my teenage/young adult years shared that he is going to be a grandfather later this year. It’s a wonderful thing, of course, but the thought of grandchildren provokes a sense of disbelief. Eeks! A grandfather??? Already? Then I began to think. Both my grandmother and mother were only two years older than I am now when they became grandmothers. (My mother still hasn’t forgiven me for that.)

I can’t imagine it, though, being a grandparent right now. In my mind, I’m still some awkward youngster who has her whole life ahead of her, but the years say otherwise. Forty is the new thirty, true, but time is gradually slipping away. There is only a matter of time before some cute little thing is calling me Nonna. (Not Grandma, not Granny, Nonna. I’m going all-Italian on this one.)

In the meantime, this passage of time makes me aware of things in my life that I want to accomplish but haven’t yet, otherwise known as a “Bucket List”. I don’t know if the movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman came up with the name or if it had previously existed, but I first became aware of it when the movie came out in 2007. The movie is about two terminally ill men who set out to do everything they want before, well, kicking the bucket. The idea of a bucket list took flight and now it’s a fairly common term. I’ve thought about it a lot, but haven’t really ever sat down to write one out. Part of the hesitation is that I don’t really want to think about dying just yet, but really, we don’t know how much time we have left. I could be lucky enough to live well into my nineties, or God forbid, I could meet with an accident tomorrow. However it turns out, I have been very fortunate to have done many things in my life that were incredible and that I’m so glad I got to experience: marrying the love of my life and becoming a mother tops the list. Traveling to other countries, graduating from college, performing on stage, and being a published author are all on that “Done” list, but there are many more things I want to do before I’m finished here.

1. Live in London at some point before I’m too old to enjoy it. I fell in love with that city even before I actually visited three yeas ago. Ancient Roman ruins, rich history, never having to drive, it lived up to and exceeded my expectations and I want to experience it more and more.

2. Learn to play the violin well. I have a violin, my brother gave it to me and during each summer, I make an effort to learn to play on my own, but life just keeps getting in the way. Baseball, running kids places, not wanting to subject my family to the squawkings of a beginner, these are all stumbling blocks. I adore the violin, though, and someday I’ll actually make it a priority.

3. Become a full-time writer. It’s no secret that writing is my passion and I would love to be able to do it for a living. This is one item that I am actively working on, with a children’s novel written and a historical fiction novel halfway complete. Now, all I need is an agent to take a chance on me. Getting there…

4. Travel to places that I’ve never been. I’ve been very lucky in my life. I’ve been to Australia, Hawaii, Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales, with Italy to be joining the list in couple more months. Canada doesn’t count, since I can be in Windsor in about 15-20 minutes and they don’t stamp my passport. When my children are grown, I hope to be able to travel even more, specifically Europe, to do more family research and to soak in history. Learning the stories and seeing the artifacts and legacies that people in the past have left behind is something that thrills me beyond belief.

5. Learn more languages. I am working very hard on Italian right now, with the help of a dear friend in Italy, and I can decipher some French and Spanish, but I would like to be fluent in some other languages, preferably by immersion, which leads to travel… I’m sensing a theme in my list.

6. Make a good change in the world. I don’t care if my name is remembered for anything in particular or not, but this world is so messed up in a lot of places that if I can just do something to make it better for others, than I will be happy.

This isn’t a complete list, by any means, but these six things remain constants in my mind. Will I complete them all? I don’t know. It would be satisfying, of course, but as those items are checked off, I have the feeling that more would take their place and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Staying active and curious is a great thing in life. I see people who take the attitude that life just sucks and there’s nothing they can do to fix it. They stay in a job that they hate and don’t try for something better. They don’t go anywhere, they don’t have hobbies that challenge them, and seem content to be miserable and let everyone else know that they are miserable. I don’t want to be that person. I think a Bucket List gives me something to strive for, something to challenge me in every way, something that will keep me contributing to society for a long time.

Now, it’s your turn. What’s something on your Bucket List and why is it there? Challenge yourself, set a goal, and try your best to get there. I’ll let you know how mine turns out.

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Dreams are funny things. Mine usually don’t make a lot of sense, or only snippets of them do, not enough for an almost full-fledged story, but last night I dreamed this:

This dream happened almost totally in recall, where I was explaining the origin of this urban legend to another student, who was curious as to why mud-covered footprints had been appearing all around campus. It’s a rather silly story and not life-changing in any sort of way, but it was one of those dreams where I woke up having to think about whether or not I had heard this before. Who knows? Maybe there is already an urban legend about a wild mud-man roaming a college campus somewhere in the world.

In a science building on a quiet (imaginary) college campus one fine, sunny, day, three students and their professor, Mr. Kowalski (yes, that was his name in the dream) stood looking out the window across a grassy expanse to the math building on the other side. The math building was nicely landscaped and included a usually serene pond on the side where various creatures, frogs, birds, and even fish, had made their home. The problem was that this lovely pond had recently become saturated with mud, essentially turning it into a mud pit. The animals had fled in response to this change in habitat, leaving a dreary, swamp-like, cesspool in their wake, devoid of all life.

The head of the math department had asked this science teacher to investigate, to find out what he could about what had happened to the pond and the science teacher, in true science teacher fashion, had happily obliged. He asked three of his students (I was one, along with two male students. One of them I know in real-life, a friend of mine in the theatre, the other I don’t) to help him dredge the pond for samples which they would then study and, hopefully, come up with a solution. We went out, armed only with long-handled fishing net and a bucket. Arriving at the pond, we noticed what seemed to be a mud-covered turtle shell on the opposite side. We were excited; perhaps the turtle had survived the mud! The student with the net, not me, stretched out over the pond to scoop up the turtle. After a few tries, he connected with the shell and attempted to maneuver it into the net, but something was wrong. What we thought was a turtle shell was proving to be much bigger than previously thought.

He struggled and struggled with the net. We could all tell by now that it wasn’t a turtle shell, but, intrigued, we watched to see what it could possibly be. In an instant, the object moved and then exploded up out of the mud, shrieking and drenching us with mud. To our horror, we saw that it was definitely not a shell, or a rock, or any other normal thing, but a humanoid form, about the size of a chimp, but seemingly made entirely out of mud! We began to run, screaming, back to the science building, pursued by the mud-man. The student with the net, in a flash of brilliance, swung the net around with such force, landing it squarely on the side of the mud-man’s head and stunning it, long enough for us to make our escape back to the science building. When we were safely inside and looked back through the window, it was gone. We never saw it again, and, despite efforts to remove the mud from the pond and restore it to its former glory, it remained a mud pit for ever after that. From time to time, mud covered footprints, not human, more claw-like, would trail out from the pond to various locations around the campus, but the mud-man was never seen again. Eventually, the administration just let it quietly sit, not wanting the publicity or notoriety that comes with having an unexplainable story, but students wouldn’t let the story die, passing it down in the fine tradition of oral history.

I went back to the mud pit at some point as my present-day self, looking for it, even sticking my feet into the mud. I anxiously tensed, waiting for any sign of the mud-man, any little twinge of movement in the liquid mud, but none came and I eventually gave up and walked to the garden shed to hose the mud off my legs. That is where I ran into the student to whom I told the story, having to explain why I was out in the twilight in the mud, thus ensuring the story would be told for another generation of students.

That was the end of my dream, where I slowly came out of the haze of sleep into the morning. Like I said, it’s a rather silly story, but unlike many of my dreams, it was quite logical in that it had all of the elements to make it an almost complete story. It could be further embellished and added to, in order to make it a proper urban legend. The mud-man could have a backstory, a history, maybe as a science experiment gone wrong or a cursed human. He could do more damage, wreaking havoc on the small college town and its inhabitants. Perhaps at a later time. For now, I am content to let him reside on this page.

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