Ghosts Who Snuggle and (Somewhat) Related Musings

The obvious is never the most important thing. Image by Moyan_Brenn, via Flickr

I had a strangely vivid dream last night. I was a ghost, but apparently a very strong one. I was snuggling with my kids, and I could carry a phone, although when I tried to wander too far, I lost my grip on it. And there was something about guys getting ready to load hay bales into the back of a pickup.

Vivid dreams are pretty common for me—they tend to happen whenever I sleep on my back, even for a few minutes—and I really value them, because they give me story ideas. Two of my published short stories originated as dreams, and so did the novel I’m drafting now. And two nights ago I had another. (I have three novels in my “awaiting development” folder now, which is really exciting.)

The circumstances of these dreams never make any sense, of course—the one time I scribbled the entire thing down furiously, sure I could use it for a story, I came back and reread it with my forehead puckered, going, “Why did THAT evoke such a strong emotion? I don’t even see what those five lines have to do with each other!” It’s the emotion that tells me why this dream matters.

I’m sure there are deep psychological implications for dreaming that one is a ghost. Something about being a ghost in one’s life, needing to live in the moment, yada yada. But I don’t really want to chase that particular rabbit down its hole. I’m doing the best I can. I’ve done copious amounts of soul searching on the topics of balance and discernment of motherhood/marriage versus self-fulfillment, and I certainly don’t feel a need to throw the whole works out and start over, just because I dreamed I was a ghost.

Besides, a strange thing happened to me yesterday morning. There was an adorable toddler plastered to the window of the babysitting room at Jazzercise, and I felt no heart-wrench, no longing for another baby. None.

Which is not to say that I don’t like babies anymore. We had a baby at choir practice last night and it was all I could do to focus on, y’know, leading the choir. But I’m not feeling that deep, visceral longing for another of my own. I kind of like having both hands free to conduct. Or play flute. Or type. Or cook.

No doubt it’s cyclic; that gut-wrenching longing will come around again in a couple weeks. But it seems significant that this thing that has defined me so long is relaxing its grip. I’m transitioning into a work-from-home mother of school-aged kids, and feeling tremendously fulfilled by that role.

This is not a well-unified blog post. It’s more a free-form journal entry. For the past several days I’ve been intending to journal if I couldn’t get to sleep, but I’ve always managed to get to sleep. Apparently I just couldn’t take it anymore, and decided to spew the contents of my brain here instead. I’d better stop, before I start typing a missive opinions about presidential politics…