Archive for August, 2010

The Saint Michael Tree

Aug 24 2010 Published by under dreams

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had very vivid dreams. I used to believe there was a deeper meaning, but with age came the usual cynicism of practicality. It’s been a while since I have intentionally held on to the memory of a dream because it touched me so deeply.

I often dream of my grandparents’ home — the ranch, the house, the grapevine parra and the old ash tree we climbed as kids, which is also where the piñata hung during each birthday party. We had never seen a redwood in person, or even the large oaks prevalent in other parts of the state. So, to us, this tree was what we considered huge. The tree thrived, stood tall and wide, which was miraculous because it had a gaping cavern taken out of its trunk. I suppose at some point some insect colony had hollowed it out.

It’s been years since I’ve even seen this tree, as my grandfather passed on in 2001 and my grandmother now lives in a nursing home.

But in last night’s dream, this tree took the spotlight. In the dream, I was a child and the tree spoke to me about some sort of danger. It, explained that I was of the Saint Michael bloodline, and that the tree itself was Saint Michael the Archangel. The tree said it would keep us from harm, but danger was approaching.

In the next scene, I was an adult and a captive in my grandparents’ house. I was being held prisoner by the leader of an army of men. It seemed to be in the past — 1920s, 30s? They had taken over my grandparents’ ranch and were using it as a base. I was being held in the room that used to be my grandmother’s, but in the dream was a junk room. My family and friends had escaped, but were attempting to create a diversion to help rescue me. I know there was bloodshed, but I don’t remember from whom. I also remember trying to find a way to steal the key to the room I was being held in while the guard was distracted. At some point I escaped, running across the lawn to the tree, climbing up and hiding in its branches. And then, as often happens in my dreams, I jumped from the branches and sailed through the sky, landing near the corral and irrigation ditch. I was out-of-sight and safe from my captors.

This isn’t the first time I’ve dreamt of being pursued by someone or something at my grandparents’ ranch. Typically, as I’m running across the acreage, there is blue lightning in the distance. Sometimes I’ll hide in an old storage building near the property line. In one of my earliest memories of a dream, my family and I are fleeing our own home and when we arrive at my grandparents’ house, we look into the sky and see the sun turn black with a red corona, orange clouds in the sky.

But it always ends the same way: I come out the back door of the house, walk past the Saint Michael Tree, across the dewy lawn and to the evergreen lined caliche road. There, I look up into the sky and see that the morning sun is shining bright in a golden sky… and the danger is gone.

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The plans are always changing

Aug 07 2010 Published by under future,goals,life,present

Searching for a new place to live has never been more difficult. We have more than four months until our lease is up, but I’ve just about had it with this tiny apartment. I’ve been scouring the web for a suitable new home, to no avail.

The real problem, though, is that for the last two months Brad and I were looking to buy a house … a plan that did not pan out.

For anyone who has ever bought a house, you know that it’s a very stressful time in a person’s life. We put so much into finding the perfect place, filling out all the paperwork, negotiating the contract, getting the pre-approval and finding the right lender. I even developed a nervous twitch in my eye (which has returned as I relive that rollercoaster of emotions). I don’t doubt Brad’s own emotional contribution to the whole thing, but ultimately it was his decision to scrap the whole plan … and I was crushed.

Terminating the contract definitely wasn’t without reason. Although we both absolutely loved the house, there were a number of repairs that neither we nor the sellers could afford to make right away. Money is always tight for us since Brad relies heavily on a part-time job and student aid, and I’m not exactly raking in the big bucks. It was the wise choice — the fiscally responsible thing to do.

Still, I am the type of person who takes great care in planning for the future. If I want to accomplish something, I set out well in advance to put myself on the path I believe will take me to it. This path guaranteed a five-year plan to build equity, establish myself as a working designer, and possibly have children. In fact, one of the reasons we chose buying rather than renting is because we are looking into surrogacy or fostering a child, and we figured a nice starter home in a safe, established neighborhood would offer some stability for a young child. I’m 30 after all, and I am very much OK with the settling down aspect of life.

Brad, on the other hand, tends to get bored and antsy within the confines of one place within a year. It stems from the transient childhood of an Army brat. Being younger, he also feels that life passes by too fast and that if you stick around one place too long, you’ll miss it. He’s had some great aspirations for his life. And I feel like we’ve both done very well to accommodate each others’ goals in those plans, however, Brad tends to change his mind frequently. I’ve lost count of the number of times our two-year outlook has changed. I don’t know how we ever came up with a five-year one. And it seems lately that the life plans — these enormous, earth-shattering, mountain-moving plans — have been changing on the fly. It’s getting to be dangerously close to reckless, and I think Brad needs to learn that making these big decisions cannot, should not be done in a snap. There is an insecurity there that he needs to acknowledge. Yes, there are some fantastic options in front of us, but if we choose one, we need to commit to it and see it through to the end.

It’s a different perspective that I don’t think he can see clearly just yet. But I’m here to help. I appreciate and encourage Brad’s ambition, but I also want him to realize there needs to be some responsibility on his part. These decisions are the ones that really matter and cannot be made lightly. There’s more at stake and there are more people depending on us to follow through. After making a huge investment, breaking that contract is bound to yield some penalties.

In the short term, let’s hope I can make some headway into finding us a new place to live. It’s been very difficult to let go of what was very nearly ours, and changing our plan so drastically makes me anxious of being stuck in this tiny place forever. I think I need this little bit of change to help me move on.

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A New Direction

Aug 05 2010 Published by under life

Obviously, I’ve been neglecting this blog for a long time.

There are various reasons for the lack of upkeep. First of all, I love design, but I find it difficult to write about. I’m an avid reader of design blogs, but I how can I say differently what’s been said very well on many other sites? Second, I’ve found myself spread quite thin over the internet. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and numerous other websites that I manage have me scatter-brained and more willing to just put it off than to deal with it. Obviously, my personal life has to be given some attention as well.

On August 1, my paid account at livejournal expired without having been updated since I’d purchased it. I haven’t updated any of my hobby sites in months, and my last flickr posts were from nearly a year ago. Even my twitter account, which had been my primary tool for staying informed, has seen fewer and fewer posts. I’m ashamed to say that my facebook page is the only social media device that gets my full attention these days.

So, I’ve decided to change some things around. I know readership is nil at this point, so I won’t be putting anyone off by changing the format of this blog. What I’d like to do is incorporate some of my interests (design, art, photography), as well as excerpts from my daily life, which don’t seem to find a place within the content of other sites I manage.

I’d like to make this space available for thoughts on my past, present and future; my life, my work and my goals.

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Pardon the Absence

Aug 05 2010 Published by under past

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