I have dreamed

When I was growing up, I had a recurring dream of running, running, running, I was going to die, and at the last possible second, with danger, death and evil practically nipping at my heels, I flew.

Sometimes, I would dream that all my teeth were falling out.

I repeatedly dreamed that my house was on the Christmas Tour but no one had told me.

Good times.

In a few years falling asleep brought a little more hope. I found a tunnel in my basement that led right into a wonderful department store. Another time, I found an estate sale where exquisite items were selling for a quarter.

Once, when my car was surrounded by wolves, I was able to escape because I had a giant box of Milkbones with me.

But the best was yet to come. I was on vacation with my friend KB in Czechoslovakia. We were at a street corner and needed to cross, but the street was a sheet of ice. I took her hand, and we flew across.

Years later, the day after KB died, I took a nap and found myself in a baby’s clothing store. I saw KB, but I couldn’t seem to catch up to her. When I finally came close to her, she turned and handed me a cup engraved with the words “All is well.”

Then came the dream I cherish. I was in a tower, looking out a window. I saw a light coming closer and closer until it came into the room. I knew it was God. And then God turned into Claude Raines. He put his arms around me and said, “Have a wonderful life. I’ll see you in Paradise.”

I don’t expect a better dream than that.

The parsing of mass killings

It’s been going on for awhile, but my ear just picked it up and passed it on to my brain last night during the evening news. The commentator struggled to describe the scope of the latest slaughter in America. What she came up with was ,This is the largest mass shooting in an American house of worship.” I expected her to add something like “this month,” or “since the middle of the week,” but realized I was jumping the automatic weapon. That will surely come later.

We’ve already had “the largest mass killing of five year olds just learning to spell.” And the “largest mass shooting of people enjoying a country music festival by a man with multiple weapons in a hotel window high above the music.” And yes, “the largest mass shooting of mostly gay people dancing the night away by yet another madman with an automatic weapon.”

I’m sick of it. It needs to stop now. My brother says only women should be allowed to own guns. If men want to go hunting, they must be accompanied by a woman with a sword who is authorized and trained to cut off the hunter’s testicles if he exceeds his limit.

No automatic or rapid firing weapons of any kind. Bullets to be sold one by one.

And, God help us all, no more parsing on the evening news.

Choking on words

the words I want to say are caught in my throat…my country ”tis of thee….tiki torches lighting hateful nights…

My beloved dog has liver damage from the drugs that saved her life…love one another as I have loved you….we have no leader…I am ashamed.

Too many flags, too little dignity….my husband and I are growing old and still in love…the lady weeping in the harbor…the white hats in Syria.


I need a mammogram…two crazy men with silly haircuts, yelling across frightened people with death in their hands…

Choking..my throat tight with tears

My country, these beautiful forests burning,  ”tis of thee.  I try to speak, but the lump of emotion gets in the way,

And I am choking.

Easter 1987

I watched him edging down a side aisle, toddler tethered to the safety of his father’s hand. A candlelighter on that Easter day, rowdiness contained by new clothes and solemn purpose.

Cropped hair damp across his forehead, cheeks flushed pink, he waited his turn in the warm, familiar circle of his father’s arms.

Hymns spun out in the air above the candles.  He moved, his time arrived, away from father to something new and ancient all at once.

Plump, sturdy legs carried him up three marble steps to the candleholder. He grasped his unlit candle, took flame from the neighboring taper, then thumped it  firmly down, and turned away.

Still, drawn by the lure of this first, solemn task, he stopped, looking back across one shoulder to where his candle brightly flickered.

A thousand brittle creeds shattered. Easter was the hope in those clear eyes.