I keep seeing a scene from a dream I had a few months back. At the time it struck me as profound, and now in idle moments, it reappears. I dreamt I was somewhere in the area that I first went to university, built up, busy skyline. There were big coaches in a car park with lots of people board, and above were hundreds of lines of prayer flags, the sky was coloured with them.

Apparently, dreams are the way that brains process reality, or something like that. I understand where all the elements of the dream came from, but I find it truly incredible that my sleeping mind can create such incredible narratives. Whole stories with scenes, plotlines and characters. Dreaming is an amazing thing, like lots of other things. We accept something as normal because we are used to it without ever fully appreciating.

It’s like when I am ill, I aspire to good health, but when I am healthy, I don’t feel an active gratitude for this, I accept this as normal. And likely that should be normal for me, but in absence, we find worth to the previously overlooked. Simply acknowledging the most marvellousness of my body is something that I am trying to give more credence to.

My waking dreams, my hopes and aspirations are also something that I take for granted. I know what I want to achieve, but sometimes wanting something and taking it a stage further to actually getting it can be difficult. It’s almost as if I have a beautiful book of everything I want, and am sometimes I am content enough just to look at the pictures.

I try to think more about all the things that I am grateful for, but that is not enough. I need to act on the things that inspire me. I appreciate the low key areas of my life, but now it is time to make my picture book my reality.

Map Point. Which dreams do I never expect to achieve?




People and stuff

Today I was thinking about give and take and from that, the things that people have borrowed from me. From money (obvious) to clothing, books and other media, furniture and all sorts. I don’t think there has ever been anything too obscure, but I remain optimistic! Also, I was thinking about the things that I have collected of other peoples over the years, always with good intention to return, but I still have, collecting dust somewhere.

When I was around fifteen I was a big fan of The Eagles and had a CD which I loved. Now clearly, me being a person of exceptional taste, my brother, Stephen, was also a fan. I remember lending him a CD and then never getting it back. This went on for years, with him claiming that he had returned it, and me swearing blind that he didn’t. It had entirely disappeared. This then became a pattern, I missed the CD and would occasionally ask, to which he would repeat that he did not have it. Then I happened to ask once when his girlfriend was in the room, this was maybe a few years after the initial disappearance. And her response was amazing ‘You mean the one in the car?’ He had thieved it and now the game was up, sibling moment of pure excellence! I got my CD back. A few months after I gave it back to him, for me the thing itself was of little consequence (other than its new mass funny status), but an unsolved mystery? Those are things that can be worth pursuing!

I have another friend who I continually barter with, we haggle, plead and negotiate. Neither of us are above emotional blackmail either when push comes to shove. Each one of us always believes it is our turn to pay for coffee, bits of shopping and an assortment of other delights. If there was a book keeping track of all monies spent, am hopeful it would even out, but it kind of feels like an irrelevance. Resources go back and forth, and I guess it’s important to acknowledge that.

I am really bad with other people’s books. This particularly applies to the books I have borrowed from the library. I have incurred monster fines from the community deluge of reading material, but sometimes, some books I really don’t want to return. Occasionally I will order them and buy my own copies. When I remember, and this is not often. Mostly I won’t even be aware of the return date when I am in a place of rapture with a new article of bound words. Other people’s books I am better with, although not great. If they remember to ask for it back, that is good, but I still have the niggling feeling that once a book enters my domain, it is rightfully mine.

It could be advisable not to lend me any books, but please ignore this! The photo accompanying this post is completely ironic. (It is a picture of the book ‘The Book Thief’ which is a book that was lent to me. A long time ago).

Map Point. What do I have that doesn’t belong to me?

Favourite things

I love to read. I really struggled to learn this incredible skill when I was little. My Mum came in to help out with reading in infant school and I remember her saying to me, whilst I was attempting to read a book about pirates ‘Come on Sally, just let’s get through this one’. I can’t help but wonder whether my utter boredom about what I was reading (with no offence to pirates intended) delayed me any, but within a few years, it became one of my defining characteristics.

The first book that genuinely filled me with a sense of possibility was The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. It was the first book I remember that gave me a sense of over worldly, the idea that humans can be so much more than we currently perceive. I am sure that I had seen these ideas portrayed in films and television, but this was my first experience with a book. I saw a world written through someone else eyes. And it was good.

There have been so many books that have elevated me in some way. Showing me a new idea or a new complexity of the human existence that I had not yet discovered. Worlds were formed and broken with each page turned. Books by Douglas Coupland, Alex Garland, Toni Morrison, so many incredible authors with amazing new perspectives.

Alongside these incredible books, I am sure that I have forgotten a good deal of what I have read. And this is okay too, some things can inform our lives without us having a direct memory. And some books I have had to abandon, curiously most of these I do remember. My bookshelf is a place of incredible memory.

Seeing different lives, different viewpoints, different worlds is so incredibly important to personal growth. If I consider everything in my life as a new possibility, a new opportunity, then I can make the choice to learn.

Map Point. What was the last book that I read?