In Response to Dreaming

I have 206 bones now that I’m 21 but when I was just born I had 350 that just hadn’t fused together yet.

I was born to two people who were in love with each other at some point. They met at a christmas party and one was too shy to ask the other to dance. He still remembers the back of the bow on her dress that night. Since then I have found love notes pressed in books. I have checked the handwriting to make sure I’m not the one who wrote them. And I have still wondered years later. I have danced in the grass and have breathed in the air of this earth, but I have also hit the wet pavement, wondering how I got there. I have snorkled off a boat in the pacific ocean and have seen sea turles and fish of all colors. I have sat in the snow after sledding at night, listening to the deer hidden in the forests on one coast, and I have clutched a handful of warm sand on the the other. It was my father who taught me that the twigs of birch trees taste like birch beer if you chew past the bark and he also taught me to walk through life with blinders on, using your heart as the only steering wheel. But it was my mother who taught me how to hug with arms. And that skipping school was just as important as going out to lunch, which could also be known as the flu. Or the whooping cough, or a trip to the eye doctor’s. Or several trips to the eye doctor’s. I have been lied to and i have seen lies divide rooms. I have made an oath never to lie because of it and I have almost lived up to it. There were days my trust was taken advantage of and there were days when I told myself it wasn’t. I have grown my hair out to the bottom of my back and I have cried when i have trimmed it. I have let the sea breeze and the open car windows tangle it into something unmanagable, and I have jumped in the ocean like I didn’t have a care in the world besides the height of the wave in front of me.

 

The art in my heart was discovered and then laid out on the table by a teacher my sophomore year of high school and the many copies of future homes I would draw on the wood floor in the sunroom when I was 7 are what have told me never to settle for anyone who won’t sit out on the porch and feel the cool air indefinitely with me. I have been kissed by several boys, and one girl. But I have never had the ocean remind me of any of them. And it was a family friend who taught me that if I ever get nervous singing, I should sing out to the night sky and try to hit one of the stars. I want to see as many types of people as I can in as many places as i can through as many lenses as I can, but I am content with outside dinners and a person whose hand fits snuggly into mine. People and their stories are my treasures. Portrait books of women with colorful beads and three piercings in their ears. Signatures on left behind receipts. Day gazes out the window. I told myself I could write the day I crawled into my bed with my new laptop and wrote seven stories in one day, but finished none of them. I have seen my words show someone something they have known all along, but have never felt it in that way. I have learned how my words can touch people while simoltaneously separating me from them all and I still can’t stop writing. I have never seen death, but I am familiar with change and I wonder how similiar the two are. I have seen a person break themselves and I have sat with my hands in my lap. I have seen overcompensation for love, I have seen people really mess up, and I have seen people try. Really try to be better. One day I would see that I had let myself fall into the arms of sadness and that I had treated happiness like it was my old address. On another day I would see that neither happiness nor sadness were places at all but rather routes you could choose to take.

 

I have learned the slow and painful way, that love chooses for you. and I have felt more left out of my own brain than any social circle in any mint green cafeteria, but I have had soulfriends that let me come over in my pajamas and sometimes ask why. I was 21 when my mother told me for at least the 21st time that I was a dreamer, but it was when I was 21 specifically that she told me it made her nervous for me. I was also 21 when I realized that I didn’t know how not to dream, nor did I want to learn. And today, I have seen people turn hurt into hate but I have also seen people finding quiet love within themselves and shouting it over all else. Maybe because when your ears are ringing it’s the only thing you still know by heart. I am closed and I am open at the same time, and I am ready to take on this world with every nerve in my body while always looking up. Even if that means I'll trip sometimes.