dream list

We signed a new lease for our cramped, shoebox apartment in the city today.

Organic bananas are browning on my kitchen counter. Somehow they feel sufficiently drab enough to notice.

Last night I happened to click on this link to a summer percussion festival (David Kuckhermann! Lizz Wright! My inexplicable connection to wild tribal rhythms!) and found myself streaming tears. Oh how I long to be there.

I am starving. It's not a pretty state to find yourself. I am feral-eyed, lunging for dazzling glimmers like a squawking crow. Not nearly the composed, graceful woman I envision, calmly going about her day with poise and delight. No, at this moment I am quite liable to erupt in a volcano of desire and consume everything in my way.

Deep exhale.

Notebooks surround me. They are filled with half-legible dreams, one and two years old, the desperate mad poetry of a longing soul: explore the Pacific Northwest and run through a forest. Open a healing studio and dance on a smooth wood floor in puddles of moonlight. Make my own incense. Design luscious layers of bohemian clothes. Own an apothecary. Go swimming beneath the moon. Touch, taste, feel, wholly submerse myself in life. Make wild love to life.

Reality surrounds me, too. It's a little less dreamy. The back of a wrinkly, torn envelope reads in bullet points: I've outgrown my life. Hyperventilate, heart race, shoulder pain, back ache, feet are killing me. (Just added that one.) No energy. What would be enough? Why? In debt. Clutter. Overwhelm. Fantasize about giving notice. Job: I am never good enough. Sales are never good enough. Didn't make enough calls, do enough demos, work enough hours, book enough appointments.

“I'm done talking about it,” I told a friend over Christmas. “I'm in that deadly space of no more talking, just doing what I need to do. And I will do it. Big changes are ahead next year. You'll see.”

Tomorrow is the New Moon.

Tomorrow is the first day of the New Year, still fresh and sweet for kissing like a baby's head. Tonight I'm going to go out in the dark. I'm going to kneel down in the earth and press my skin to the earth, slip my fingers into dirt and plant all these little dream seeds. I'll say a little blessing, whisper a tiny prayer. Maybe this is my year for plenty. Maybe my dreams will soar through the earth and rise lush and full to the sky. This is what hope is, I think. I am planting hope.

So I hang my new Messy Canvas calendar and read “For she who allows the cracking open.” I slice a fresh tomato for my husband and it reminds me of summers on the farm. Of me as a child, skirt swishing, hands in the dirt. Maybe I'll bake banana bread and eat it warm with butter.

Hillary McFarland