More California Dreamin’… and Other Stuff

Last night, we went to the symphony, which means dinner was at the concert hall. There’s a little place there called the Paradise Cafe. It refers to a previous incarnation of our local concert hall – another story, too long to go into here. The restaurant doesn’t have a kitchen. Food is trucked in from somewhere else (catered by a big-wig catering group in the city) and warmed for diners. This might sound awkward and awful, but really it’s not bad. They bring in a prime rib which is usually delicious, green beans, potatoes, salmon and chicken, and pasta. It’s a regular smorgasbord of delights. It’s also a lot of heavy food I don’t normally eat.

Last night, I had weird dreams. I have to relate that to my meal which was only a few hours before falling asleep.

I dreamed I was in southern California, driving my daughter around.

In two weeks, we will be in southern California, and I’ll be driving my daughter around to the various colleges she’s interested in. Outside of the metropolitan San Diego area, I’ve never been to most parts of southern California, and certainly not to the places we will be visiting, which include LA, Malibu and Santa Barbara.

This is not the first dream I’ve had where I’ve dreamt of where I’m going. I once dreamed of the inside of a friend’s house, and when I finally went inside, it was exactly as I had envisioned in my dream. I’ve seen the rolling hills of Kentucky before I actually rolled through. I’ve been on certain sandy beaches before arriving there.

My point is this: I think sometimes dreams are the movies of your subconscious, but I also think our minds and souls can go to places when our bodies are asleep. (Ooo-iee… Yes, I believe in astral projection.) This can also happen when under anesthesia. I saw myself lying in the recovery room after having a C-section for my son. As crazy as it sounds, I was on the ceiling looking down, and snapped back into my body when my back hit the wall. I vividly remember the conversation the nurses were having before I woke up.

My dream last night was very calming. It was a warm, sunny day, and we had just left a school that wasn’t far from the beach. The roads were twisting around the hills. My daughter wanted to go to the beach, so I parked the rental car. It was a non-descript foreign model that was gray. When coming back from the beach, I couldn’t locate the car. Everyone was driving a small foreign car, and there’s not much difference between a KIA and a Hyundai if you’re used to a Toyota. So we walked up a hill, where the area was getting more residential. I said, “We’ve gone too far.” So we walked back down, and eventually found the car, located near a coffee shop. I should have made that mental reference before I exited the car. All was well, so I woke up.

Hmm… I wonder what this means?

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California Dreaming

It’s 8 degrees today, and I’m not going to complain about the cold. Take my word for it, it is.

Today I’m going to dream about California.

I’m going to dream about the wonderful food. All of the unique dishes and the fresh fruits and vegetables. I’m going to remember the velvety smoothness of the wines, with their hint of blackberry, raspberry, earth and tannin. I’m going to recall the “kid in a candy store” feeling of being overwhelmed by so many lovely choices.

I’m going to dream about long walks on the beach. I never care if it’s foggy or raining. I encourage the wind to greet me with its salty blast. I’m going to imagine the shells and sand dollars I’ll find to join the ones I have on my kitchen counter.

I’m going to dream about leaving the window open when I go to sleep at night. It will be many, many nights before I’ll feel comfortable enough to open the window here. Sure, I’ll hear the garbage collector when he comes by at 4 a.m., but I’ll also be able to feel mist.

I’m going to dream about the mariner-style houses, and the Spanish influenced architecture, the neat and tidy little yards, the unusual trees trimmed like popcorn balls. I’m going to think about the fact that there’s no grass, instead, there are stands of bamboo, enormous jade plants, rosemary and calla lilies.

I’m going to remember the majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m going to think about the stands of eucalyptus trees, and the giant redwoods at Muir Woods. I love the rolling brown hills that remind me of the commercials on “happy cows” and the cliffs along Highway 1.

Next week, I’m going to go there. It won’t be a dream then.

Dreaming of Writing

This year, I decided to sign up for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). I’ve had a couple of ideas in the hopper, so I thought I would take the time to really work on them for a change. One is a chick lit novel about a middle aged woman much like me who has floated through a suburban life when she gets dumped into a rough set of circumstances and finds she has to be strong for herself. The other is about a girl who narrowly misses becoming a statistic. Her life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, and she struggles to stay sane despite it all.

For the last couple of nights, I’ve been dreaming of writing. I don’t know what it means. Monday night, I dreamt of a completely different book, one set in western Michigan about a hundred and fifty years ago. Names, places and situations came to me. I felt the dream lasted a couple of hours, and it played out before me like a really sappy movie from the 1940s.

I also dreamt last night of my first attempt at writing a novel. This was started about 20 years ago, and was about a woman working in a post office who is held captive by someone who has “gone postal.” (This was before going postal was the thing disgruntled postal workers did.) When I started writing this one, I had only an antique Remington manual typewriter, and it was murder to type. I have the first hundred pages somewhere, probably buried in a box in the basement.

I think these dreams are the direct result of me finishing about 3,000 words of the writing challenge. I scramble to write down my recollections and impressions, but like many dreams, the memories of them evaporate too quickly.

Back to the drawing board…