i had a crazy symbolic dream last night and need to capture as much as i can before it crawls into the abyss.

please note, i realize not everyone sees meaning and messaging in everything the way that i do. metaphors and allegories fill my head so often that i wonder how much easier it would be to see a rock as simply a rock.. or a bird as a bird.

i simultaneously hope that by reading my thoughts, others see more in the mundane of everyday life. in fact, i know this is happening every time someone sends me a picture of a bird or stops to smell a flower because of me. pausing for even a moment to see something beyond the surface.

a friend recently reminded me, there’s always more to the story… we just need to make note.

i don’t recall my dreams very often, but know this one is drowning in a pool of symbolism. below is my attempt to dive in and make note.

first, i should also note, i remember quite a few reoccurring dreams about the house i grew up in. the one on maple street. the one that was taken from our family when i was nine years old. the house my mom describes as her victorian two-story and constantly reminds me how she was among the last to know that they were tearing it down. the house my parents were forced out of during the most strenuous part of their marriage – while raising three young girls. that house.

i’ve dreamt of the house on maple street burning down — obviously symbolic.

there was the vivid dream about the time a “friend” of my sisters broke into our upstairs bedroom because we were done playing … but he was not. grabbing one of my dad’s ladders, slicing a hole in the second-story patio screen door, and banging on our first-floor, interior living room door until his fists hurt or the cops came. i don’t remember which happened first.

i was six.

i’ve had dreams about hiding in the closets or basement to see if anyone would find me. [something i often did back in the day... even though no one else was playing hide-and-seek.]

needless to say i’ve had some pretty intense dreams about the place where i started my life — and never saw a picture of until i recently started digging for them.

i can’t say the same about my parents’ suburban home where i spent the majority of my youth. the home we were displaced to doesn’t show up in my subconscious all too often.

until the other night.

it was the holiday season. we were hosting christmas — something we never did in my lifetime. my mom’s entire family was there.

[i haven’t referenced her side much in this blog. not for lack of love but more for lack of stories. we see them at special occasions and weddings and it’s nice. and that’s about it. and that’s ok. the only time any of them have been inside my parents’ current house was for my oldest sister’s and my graduation parties — five years apart. we both insisted on hosting and we both made it happen. nearly 20 years ago. holidays were a different story. no one ever came to our home. so already this dream was a unique reality.]

the house was being packed up — as it currently is.

[we’ve technically been packing for five years since concocting the plan to move my parents into the stonehouse. in some ways the packing began in 2014 and in many ways we’ve been packing our entire lives since maple street was never fully unpacked.]

ok I’ve done enough set-up… back to my dream:

there’s some irrelevant details that are fuzzy but the main thing i remember is that we found a turtle in the front room. it was the size of a football and moving around quite well. no one wanted to pick it up. no one wanted to play running back to get the turtle out of the house.

except casey.

he didn’t hesitate. he squared down, dove in, and scooped it up with ease. he also had no problem placing it outside in the cold. he didn’t think twice. the turtle didn’t belong in that front room. the turtle didn’t belong in that house. the turtle wasn’t his problem. the turtle must go.

i remember standing in the front doorway watching him drop the turtle under a bush into the snow … thinking “but it’ll freeze out there.” yet, i said nothing. i knew we couldn’t worry about the fate of the turtle. the turtle must go.

casey came back inside and i closed the door. everyone else was doing what you would normally do during a holiday gathering. eating. drinking. laughing. the kids were playing. but instead of enjoying ourselves, casey and i went back to cleaning the front room.

i watched others opening boxes we had just packed as if they were presents. new piles of things that had been organized started appearing everywhere. i snapped at my uncle in frustration. he was oblivious to the mess we were dealing with.

when i turned around to get back to work, i immediately spotted another turtle.

this time i didn’t turn to casey. i ran throughout the house demanding someone else deal with the turtle. my sisters came and i’m sure others followed me to the front of the house.

it was a freaking turtle; yet they couldn’t grab it. i’m not sure they were even trying. i’m not sure they even saw it. i was the one ruining christmas in their eyes. not the turtle. turtles were just a part of that house… always had been. maybe always will be.

sitting here now, i know exactly what my brain is trying to tell me. the turtle is not our problem. if others aren’t worried about it… if others can’t even see it, why is am i letting it ruin my happiness?

i must let the turtles go.

bird note: this is exactly what drawing with my mom has allowed both of us to do. we took a break for the summer but are back to drawing weekly now that they are settled into their new home – the stone house. i'm not sure i could tell the story until that dream was realized. i didn't want to jinx it...

next post i'll share the new dream ... the big scary one that me, my dad and my mom ALL had separately and finally allowed ourselves to say out loud ...

what's your big scary dream?
have you written it down?
have you said it out loud?

[you better make note while it's little turtle is head is poking out...]

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