Where Dreams Come From
by Marge Piercy
A girl slams the door of her little room
under the eaves where marauding squirrels
scamper overhead like herds of ideas.
She has forgotten to be grateful she has
finally a room with a door that shuts.
She is furious her parents don't comprehend
why she wants to go to college, that place
of musical comedy fantasies and weekend
football her father watches, beer can
in hand. It is as if she announced I want
to journey to Iceland or Machu Picchu.
Nobody in their family goes to college.
Where do dreams come from? Do they
sneak in through torn screens at night
to light on the arm like mosquitoes?
Are they passed from mouth to ear
like gossip or dirty jokes? Do they
sprout from underground on damp
mornings like toadstools that form
fairy rings on dewtipped grasses?
No, they slink out of books, they lurk
in the stacks of libraries. Out of pages
turned they rise like the scent of peonies
and infect the brain with their promise.
I want, I will, says the girl and already
she is halfway out the door and down
the street from this neighborhood, this
mortgaged house, this family tight
and constricting as the collar on the next
door dog who howls on his chain all night.
"Where Dreams Come From" by Marge Piercy, from The Hunger Moon: New and Selected Poems, 1980-2010. © Alfred A. Knopf,
I read this first thing this morning and had to laugh. Someone has written a poem about me. When I was about 9, I wanted to learn to play the violin and my mother laughed derisively and said: "Who are you?" When I was 14 and talked of going to college, she looked at me like I was from another planet and said "No one in our family goes to college. We are poor."
I supposedly have a visit today from a sister who lives down south, finally at home in the fanatically Christian world she has built around herself and her family. It has been about 15 years in the making, I would guess, and she is insulated from anything that doesn't suit her. And by anything, I mean weather, poverty and heathens. And unmanageable family. I suppose I am part of the latter...she is in the area and was supposed to call me about whether I got the day off today, but I haven't heard a word from her since she arrived on Friday. None of this is unusual. She often makes plans to visit and then never even makes it to the state, but never calls to let anyone know. She lives in a world that excludes consideration of things like that, not maliciously I think, simply unconscious of those things outside her parameters of God and home. It makes me crazy, of course.
On a spring note....we have been hauling manure into the garden beds and getting it all turned under. Cleared up last years debris and setting things ready for planting in a month or so. The weather around these parts is still flip-flopping around: we had a magnificent hail storm the other day with hail the size of ping pong balls! It gets warm, it cools back down...up. down. up. down. But the lilacs at the end of the driveway are blooming and I think I'll bring some in the house for a vase. The fruit trees are all abloom as well. Maybe spring really is here....
I have been doing a little house renovating. painting and the like. Been needing to paint for a couple of years, and this year my son came to do it and everything now looks fresh and new. I have been decluttering and have not put back 1/2 of all the stuff I took off the walls. It's inspiring me to get rid of even more stuff. I have 2 new loveseat covers coming today that I ordered from Overstock.com...sage colored corduroy stretch-fit covers. It was 1/4 the price of having some made. I am up early and wanted to get on the computer a minute before I get back to my cleaning and such. I have to make granola bars for the Irishman too...he's been out several days and neglected to tell me. I'm going to marinate some chicken breasts for supper, make a big wonderful salad full of mixed greens and whatnot, make some cocnut pudding or maybe even a pie...although I still have some leftover blackberry pie that I made for the Irishman to take to the coffeehouse Saturday night out at the Oblate.
We had to put one of our dogs to sleep this past Friday. She was a sweet dog and I miss her terribly. I keep expecting her to run up to my car when I come home at night... She was a big part of our family these past 4 years. I might be cried out, I think, and then I watch our littlest dog Caylee sitting out in the yard looking for her to come home and I cry all over again. She and Caylee have been constant companions and best buddies since Caylee came to live with us. I am so emotional over my animals...and each time something happens, I swear that this is it. I will not do this to myself again...and you can see how that works for me. In all fairness to me though, most often God just sends another little angel to me, and they show up on my doorstep abandoned. And I fall in love all over again....
Okay, this housework isn't going to do itself and it's going on 8 AM already.
I'll write better this week and show up and be present. Life has a way of getting away from me....