Thursday, March 14, 2013


I've been reading A Place Of My Own by Michael Pollan. It is making me think of silent, small structures with open windows full of birdsong and fragrant breezes. Of perfect order and beauty and potential.
He talks of daydreaming, saying that it is necessary to have a space in which to daydream that is private. That to really lose oneself in it there must be a closed door that ensures it's sacred silence. I love this. Though I find daydreaming within slices of silence, regardless of whether the door is opened or closed.
When I think of daydreaming, I first think of my childhood, and car rides. Sitting in the back seat, staring out at the passing world as it flew past the window unseen. I remember being so wholly engrossed as to feel frustrated at reaching our destination. There was something for me in the movement of the car (or school bus for that matter) that was especially conducive to daydreaming. I can't begin to know what used to occupy my mind on those trips.I can't recall who was in the front seat, or where we were driving to. Just the sensation of wonderful, self contained imaginings.
In my mid 20's I daydreamed about having babies. I imagined my body changing in pregnancy, and the miraculous little moments it would bring. I imagined the different ways I would have those imaginary babies, always at home, always with a fierce powerful joy at my ability to birth. The longing of those daydreams would often bring me to tears. I would sit, staring out the window of my apartment and cry and cry, with my chest swelling under the strength of my desire for babies I didn't want to raise. For nearly all of those imaginings culminated with the birth.
In the last few years I daydreamed my house in Vermont. I actively searched for it online, finding rough little spaces on a good piece of land and filling it in from there. I imagined the flow of my days, starting with the care of my hens before breakfast. I imagined working in my wee small studio, and looking out the windows at views full of trees, and our gardens, my little flock, my love blissfully planting or harvesting, or moving dirt. I imagined creating paths and private spots throughout the property where one could hide with a book. A hammock inside of a mosquito net. A nook between trees. A swing that arches out over the stream, a shady arbor, a labyrinth. And again, I ache with the longing a daydream creates in me.
I marvel at the magic of the daydream. In my experience it is future oriented, and always marked by a desire as yet unmet. It is different than the anticipation of an actual event, like a trip somewhere. I may imagine the things I'll see, or the way I may feel, but I won't fill in the blurred spaces with specific details. And remembrances are different too. Nostalgic longing feels softened by time and also warped by it. Embellishment or omission may happen there, but the parameters of the actual event are ever present to give memories their shape. In the daydream all things are fluid. My unicorn may be a dappled palomino. I may be a wolf on land who becomes a fresh water mermaid as soon as I wade into any lake in Vermont. I may have goats that don't cause mischief and pigs that don't smell really bad and not one but Two Great Danes who barely drool at all! Ever!
Give me a daydream. I'll start with imagining a door..

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