Green Frog Cafe

"Living in nature, listening to the rain, Green Frog Cafe, that's where I want to be. The hemlocks are green, the creek is tricklin, there's geese on the pond, the forest sighs. Green Frog Cafe that's where I want to be, home of my soul, spirit of the mountains." Ruminations of Rhona McMahan

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Finally Understanding an Old Dream

When I was a child I had a bad dream now and then. One of them was to be up on the roof of my family's house, looking two stories down into the back yard, and then falling off the roof. I would be very anxious as I fell, but somewhere in the middle I would always tell myself (this is only a dream" and I would relax.

Another bad dream had me running with great effort, but no matter how hard I ran I could never get away from some force which held me back, as if I was running in sludge. I hated this dream. The feeling of running without getting anyplace had no analogue in my waking world back then, but now it does. Day after day I am busy trying to accomplish things I need to do for most of my waking hours. People say I never sit still or that I never rest. A few days ago I realized that I felt exactly as I had in my childhood dream, but now there seems to be no awakening. Then it occurred to me that the force pulling on me is the grim reaper. What a relief.

I have not shared day-to-day life with any of my three children, since there has always been a divorce involved sooner or later. While I remained more-or-less involved in the lives of my children there was always separation, and our relationships were not the same as if I had been there morning and night, day after day. I always thought that this meant that I had already experienced the separation anxieties that parents have when their children go off to college, or leave the nest and move away. To my surprise, I am now coming to see that in fact I am increasingly peripheral in the lives of my children, and that I had better get some friends instead of relying on them for conversation. I am surrounded by people all the time, but the reality is that I do not relate to them in an intimately friendly way. I always have the feeling that they could not possibly understand the reality of my life in terms of what motivates me and what I value. I have been facing the need to find a friend or two.

A researcher studying my home as a part of her Ph.D. dissertation research asked me the other evening "are you the mother of the house." I did not answer right off, and when I did I said something like "well I make all the important decisions." I do not think that the people living with me even like me, and do not connect with me emotionally. This is on my side, not their's. Everyone, except me, called Sylvia "Ma," but no one ever calls me anything except my name. Not that I ever campaign to be called anything else. It is simply symptomatic of my fundamental coldness, distance, and self-protectiveness. Of course compared to my sister I was always considered the one who could get along with everyone. But viewing her as an adult, she seems much nicer than me, although distant too. In fact, both Chelsea and Jamie thought that my sister and I were from some alien planet after the visited with both of us in Davis last January.

Justin, my second cousin, is in New York for a course in dental surgery. He is coming over to pick up a futon his mother Dorothy sent to my address so that someone would be here during the day to receive it. Dotothy is my first cousin on my mother's side.


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