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  • Writer's picturecaryn baumgartner

evidence of being

When I was 9 years old, I had a dream that my mattress levitated and flew out my bedroom window with me atop. I visited many places that night on my bed. Never really landing anywhere, just simply flying high and low through far off lands unfamiliar to me.

In the morning, that dream was as real and clear to me as a trip to Disneyland. I recalled peering down through stars to cities and villages very different from where I came from. And while some don’t think it possible, I recall [vividly] the colors, sounds and smell of each place as I soared through the city streets, winding pathways, hills and countrysides. I remember a happiness and elation that was similar, yet somehow very different from, spending an entire day in a make-believe world of matterhorns and pink castles. I also recall the extreme sadness that came over me when I had to return after my long night’s journey.

I’ve had versions of that dream since then.

As an adult, these dreams have taken the form of a path I travel through green wooded forests. Or a drive north along the coast, each a journey to a destination I have been before–briefly–but never quite able to get to again. Each time, I realize I have forgotten something; a camera. My boots. Or the fact that I had neglected to tell anyone I had left.

And each time an overwhelming sadness takes over as I reluctantly turn back just before I get there.

There are, I suppose, many ways to interpret these dreams. Or "The Dream" as I’ve come to think of it. It’s only been recently that I have made certain connections to my slightly obsessive tendency to collect stray branches, seed pods or anything rusted, decaying, faded, ragged or frayed. Like many, I find great beauty in nature, particularly in the singular expression of a fallen leaf or the fragile wings of a dragonfly. Perhaps not like so many, the old and faded objects I come across hold for me a different kind of beauty. I have a deep appreciation of the textured patina that time [and many hands] paints on these man-made objects discarded in favor of new and shiny versions.

I have long held the belief that everything, everywhere, everyone is connected. The Dream is, perhaps-hopefully, an expression of our collective journey towards something greater. Towards understanding. Compassion. Fullness. A completion.


And maybe these small traces of evidence [a branch, an object] gathered // forgotten // left behind...hold keys to who we are and at the same time, sadly....tragically, keep us from being.

cb -2008

little white houses


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