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All Your Love Is Just a Dream

“Blue morning Blue morning
Wrapped in strands of fist and bone
Curiosity, Kitten, doesn’t have to mean you’re on your own
Your can look outside your window
He doesn’t have to know
We can talk awhile, baby
We can take it nice and slow

All your life is such a shame
All your love is just a dream”

He doesn't have to know, We can talk awhile, baby, We can take it nice and slow, All your life is such a shame, All your love is just a dream

In Avengers: Endgame, there’s a line, among many, that chills me to the core.

After Captain America has traveled back in time to put the stones back, he returns to visit his love, Peggy, so they can have a promised dance, and live out the years together. That alone is some big heart fodder right there, but the line that gets me is when Sam, who has really only experienced a few minutes without Captain America, before seeing him as an old man on a bench says, “The only thing bumming me out is the fact that I have to live in a world without Captain America.” Ohh, that line gets me, with the rising music. Now that line, and of course Iron Man’s untimely (in my humble opinion) death gave me that sick, hollow feeling I get when something onscreen is so poignant, and also tapping into something lost (or found) inside of ME. Yet life is to be lived. So my stomach hole closes up, I eat some popcorn (maybe to fill that hole), and then I’m on my merry way out of the theater and into the glaring sun; what’s beyond.

“I’ve been watching you for hours
It’s been years since we were born
We were perfect when we started
I’ve been wondering where we’ve gone

All your life is such a shame
All your love is just a dream”

That feeling – that sick, hollow stomach feeling – used to be brief, and will once again be brief, and yet it’s like I’m in a month-long sustained version of it. Like everything leaves a lasting hole, even when it’s not meant to, or is not even affecting the person directly experiencing it. It’s the limp of a hurt loved one; my toddler’s cry after not getting his way. I see mist rising above my neighbor’s house and it somehow reminds me of the beach, and then I think about how I will never again be a child at the beach. Or a young adult at the beach. I feel like I’ll never again have young children at the beach, even though I have TWO BABIES. Not to mention that Scarlet is not yet a teenager and Des is only halfway through his childhood. Yet, the feeling remains and I don’t know why. Even if the beach was often sandy and uncomfortable, and though I was young and beautiful there, I never felt it at the time. Like I don’t feel it now. Maybe one day I’ll look back on this time and think, “You were so beautiful and you didn’t know it. You were young and you didn’t feel it. Also, beach bugs sting, sand is uncomfortable, and sunburns hurt so darn much.”

Meaning: There’s the good and the bad, and it’s important to find beauty everywhere.

He doesn't have to know, We can talk awhile, baby, We can take it nice and slow, All your life is such a shame, All your love is just a dream

I have had some bad sunburns. One was a combination sunburn and windburn, after five hours at sea from Monterey, California. And that required steroid medication. I remember a terrible sunburn that lit my face on fire after a morning spent in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My Uncle Jamie held me in the condo pool, even though I wasn’t a very young child (maybe 9 or 10), and he splashed cold and soothing water on my face and limbs and just held me. He is leaving this world right now. It’s a slow and painful process and it’s what broke me open about six weeks ago, and I don’t know how to piece myself together, and not even a little. Not even in that cute, glued-on way when you try to repair a ceramic figure that a young loved one wants you to save. Like Avenger Sam said, I have to live in a world without Uncle Jamie. And that’s my world, and his world, and so many worlds in between of everyone he has touched. We overlap; bump into each other. Gentle bumps. How to navigate the new world, and find any peace/happiness in it.

Let it sift through you, a little at a time, like sand from a well spent day at the beach.

“I dreamt I saw you walking up a hillside in the snow
Casting shadows on the winter sky as you stood there counting crows
One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for girls and four for boys
Five for silver
Six for gold and
Seven for a secret never to be told”

I may always remember this Father’s Day as the one in which words broke me. I looked through status updates from people who had lost their fathers. “Wish we had more time together.” “My heart is full of the love we shared as father and daughter.” I have spent nearly my entire life without my father. That loss is ingrained and engraved in nearly everything I’ve ever done or said or achieved, but this cuts like a new kind of glass. Something changed, nearly overnight, and it seems to have spanned years and decades. Maybe it all just felt further away, even when it wasn’t. Maybe I had filters and defenses in place, and now they’re shattering and crumbling. Postpartum hormones + grief + this strange and awful world, with its scary political decisions, deluded religions, violence, and more = not a safe place to rest your feet. The ground is unstable and even lined with sharp objects. The sand is too hot and it requires you to carry or be carried.

He doesn't have to know, We can talk awhile, baby, We can take it nice and slow, All your life is such a shame, All your love is just a dream

He doesn't have to know, We can talk awhile, baby, We can take it nice and slow, All your life is such a shame, All your love is just a dream

“There’s a bird that nests inside you
Sleeping underneath your skin
When you open up your wings to speak
I wish you’d let me in

All your life is such a shame
All your love is just a dream”

I’ve often suspected that my body is fully equipped to carry and raise children, but my mind is not. And it’s more than that. My body is equipped to carry and raise love and light and hope, but my mind flickers like a melting candle. When Cassidy and I were broken up between 2004 and 2006, I was in a space of darkness for that first year, and nothing could light it. I mean nothing. Wonderful things could happen, and I’d barely feel them. Terrible things could happen, and I’d just think, “Yeah, that’s life.” Yet, that’s not life and that’s not me. It wasn’t so much the grieving of our lost relationship, as the loss of that feeling of magic. And I have felt that recently, with my imperfect birth and my imperfect spinal headache, and even my perfectly perfect new baby.

And yet, it seeps into everything I say or do or experience. And it’s like I’m sleeping now, but due to be wide awake any second. It’s the way of the world, and the way of me. There’s so much to fight for and fight against, and the formula is simpler than I think it is. The dark and murky and convoluted thoughts break away and open with the simple and most basic pleasures in life.

Of being able to carry, and being able to be carried. The weight. The magic. The love.

He doesn't have to know, We can talk awhile, baby, We can take it nice and slow, All your life is such a shame, All your love is just a dream

“I walk along these hillsides in the summer ‘neath the sunshine
I am feathered by the moonlight falling down on me”

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4 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh yes that scene with Sam and Captain America (who totally became Mr. Rogers 🙂 hit me hard. I have a few people who my life would be a mess if they were no longer there. Those people know who they are and I am better because of them. The weight. The magic. The love indeed!

  2. “You were so beautiful and you didn’t know it. You were young and you didn’t feel it…” YES. I have experienced this when I look at old photos. You will, too. And not even realize how beautiful you are (were).
    I’m so sorry about your uncle. He sounds like a gentle man and to have to suffer at the end is simply awful. I think this has caused you to relive the past losses.

    This: “Of being able to carry, and being able to be carried. The weight. The magic. The love.”

    Such beautiful and meaningful words. Sometimes we learn how to do this and sometimes we forget. I’m not feeling the magic lately either. Love? Yes. Weight? Definitely. Magic? Where did she go?

  3. I really resonate with your comment about there being a good and a bad to everything. Every situation, every job, every stage of life, every home, even every talent! Personally I have found it helpful to find the joy and then focus on that part. Of course, I periodically get overwhelmed by burdens and sadness, but it is ultimately my choice about where I choose to put my soul down and live. Mindset is a powerful thing!

  4. That picture of Rider swadling Sawyer is so precious. All of the photos are precious. I’ve often thought my mind wasn’t equipped to raise children either. It’s an interesting process. The weight, the magic, and the love are all there, but it’s a rough journey sometimes. I’m sorry about your uncle.

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