I had a dream last night that I was laboriously trudging through the heavy snow and quarreling with an indistinct woman. I believe the woman was no one in particular; the dream’s point with her was that she and I did not get along. But together we pulled our gear through the snow, pulling through and up to the inn at the foot of the mountain. We were at the foot of Mount Monadnock, and facing a decision: seek the comfort of the inn, or make the arduous journey to the top. It wasn’t entirely necessary for us to go there, and doing so was dangerous; we would have to survive several days in the harshest winter weather – together. It seemed we did have one thing in common: we both had resolved to make it. This was the mountain I was willing to die on; I was determined to survive.
The dream then melted into an odd surreal scene of me chasing my kids around the tavern and Michael playing music.
Funny thing about the real life Mount Monadnock being so daunting: getting to the top is less of a mountain climb and more of a hill hike. I once climbed it when I was a child. It takes several hours, not several days. Then again, perhaps in the thick New England snowfall, it would take that long. I don’t know. In any case, I recommend looking up Mount Monadnock online. The pictures do not give it the proper scope, but it sure is beautiful.
Today, here I am. I seem to have found myself at the foot of my mountain that I would be willing to die on, and I’m pacing at the foot muttering, “I’m not a climber. I’m not a climber. I’m not a climber.”
“This isn’t what I wanted, you know. This life that I ended up with. I mean, I kind of assumed that it would be like this, but it certainly wasn’t what I was sitting around daydreaming about,” she said just after taking a drag from the one indulgence she allowed herself and watching its smoke drift upward into the cool night air.
“What did you want, then?” he asked.
“You. Just you. Except without the stigmas, the judgements, or the complexities. I wanted you, but I wanted it to be simple.”
His heart quickened slightly with both pleasure and pain, not only because it stroked his moderate ego, but because it was exactly what he has always wanted too. They both knew that their “if only” will always remain just that. If only.
I’m fairly convinced that I was a sailor in a recent past life*. Or maybe I was married to a sailor and lived in the harbor, oft looking out to sea, waiting for my love’s return and never finding it; that one seems more likely. In any case, I love buoy bells – their rhythmic gong resonates into the depths of my being, soothing my heart, and reminding me of home. I even love anything that reminds me of buoy bells – the clang of a chain on the neighbor’s gate on breezy days, or the hushed gong of the clapper nudging just that one column on the large wind chimes my mom gave me. And I’m telling you, my heart is somewhere out there in that lake. When I stand at the water’s edge, I can almost feel it settling into my chest where it belongs. I feel like I’ll see it on the horizon at any moment.
Then again, I detest beach/seaside themed home decor. So maybe not.
I’m equally convinced that in a much, much more distant life, I was a warrior in either Japan or China – somewhere in a forested, mountainous area. I had a wife, kids, and a small restaurant. I toy with this notion based on dreams that I would have. I’m not all that into anime, and came up with it long before watching anime.
*I don’t actually believe in either reincarnation or preexistence. At all. I’m using it as an expressive figure of speech and a means to play around with imagination.