Can brains explode?


Chicken Lady

I’m thinking about the wider subject of things that have a beginning and things that have an end.

I was thinking about what sorts of things have beginnings and ends or don’t have beginnings and ends.

I was thinking about dreams.

Dreams are kind of funny things. You wake up and often you just vaguely remember a dream. You don’t remember the beginning or the end. But you definitely remember having a dream and you remember parts of the dream.

There are recurring dreams. But even with recurring dreams you don’t always identify a specific beginning and a specific end.

I used to have a recurring dream. I don’t have it anymore but I do remember the period of my life where I had it multiple times.

In the dream I was in the house that I lived in a lot as I was growing up. It had a hallway and a back entry way and a back porch. There were steps that led down from the back porch down to the ground level.

I remember in this dream standing in the back entryway facing the hallway. The hallway was dark and where I was standing, it was light. I remember that the doorway leading to the hallway was the place where I would see a person with a chicken head.

I didn’t see the whole person. I just saw the head like the person was laying on the floor of the hallway and sticking their head out past the doorway to look at me or something. All I could see was the head.

The weird part of this creature and my dream was that it belonged to a specific woman. I still remember her name. Rose Kenebrie. I don’t know why she was in my dream because I rarely had anything to do with her. She was loosely connected with my parents in that she did the same kind of work that they did in the same general geographic area as they worked. She was a single woman and not particularly attractive. Actually not attractive at all. Her face sort of resembled

a chicken face with a beak. I mean, It wasn’t a huge jump in a dream to see her face as a chicken face.

Anyway Rose Kenebrie was the body connected with that chicken head that was sticking out into the doorway from the dark hall.

I don’t remember being afraid of the chicken head but It was very creepy. So that’s the dream that I had a number of times as I was growing up. Rose Kenebrie with the chicken head laying in the hallway of my house and all I could see was the head sticking out past the doorway. Very weird dream. I don’t remember the end of the dream.

So that’s an example of a dream that has very memorable components of it but the beginning and the end are vague and undefined.

We all have dreams like that I’m sure. And yet we also have dreams that we know have a specific end because they wake us up suddenly we wake up in a cold sweat sitting bolt upright with our hearts pounding. Those dreams have a definite end.

Dreams do come true


A Landmark End

Here’s another example of something that began and something that ended. Only in this case the ending was a positive thing. It was a dream accomplished. A vision realized. A goal reached.

In this case it was something to celebrate and be happy about. And that would be a category of things ending. Things that you’re happy about ending because they represent an achievement or an accomplishment.

What I’m thinking about specifically is the bicycle trip that my daughter took across the country.

She and a friend ecided that they wanted to ride their bicycles from one coast to the other. I mean one coast of the United States to the other. They wanted to ride their bicycles from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Coast.

They first hatched the idea when they were sophomores in college.

I remember being a sophomore in college and having ideas like that. I specifically remember Aan idea of going with a friend and driving across the United States from California to the New England coastline.  We almost made that trip happen.

I remember now that as we were planning that trip I realized that I would be the one that would push the whole trip forward. That I would be the leader the whole time and my friend would be the follower. And I remember realizing that I did not want that sort of dynamic. I didn’t want to be the one driving the trip.

If we were going to do the trip I needed to do it with somebody that would share the weight of the responsibility. I knew with that particular friend that every single thing, every single decision, would fall to me, from finding directions to deciding where we would stay to finding food and all of that.

That would happen the entire 3000 miles across the United States. I remember just being very clear suddenly that that would be the reality of the trip and then being equally clear that I didn’t want that. So for that reason I bailed from doing that trip.

So when my daughter came up with this idea as a sophomore, I cheered her on and never thought she would do it. As the months went by she and her friend continued to plan their trip. They went through the last two years of college and were still planning on doing the trip.

They planned that they would do their trip in the fall after they had graduated from college. The idea was that they would work the whole summer after they graduated and save money for the trip and for buying whatever they needed In terms of equipment.

Amazingly, this is exactly what they did. These two young women stayed true to their goal and their dream and they actually made it happen.

They graduated from college, went to their separate towns the summer after graduation, worked all summer, got together several times during the summer to plan their trip and to do trial rides together, and actually started their trip.

Those girls took 2 1/2 months and rode their bicycles clear across the United States from Saint Augustine to Big Sur. They stayed with strangers and family and new friends and acquaintances all across the way. They camped on police property, church property, in campgrounds, and at state parks. They couch surfed and stayed with hosts who are part of an association specifically set up to give traveling bicyclists room and board along their trips.

They made that trip happen and got to Big Sur on November 19th.  They did it. That was the end of a milestone trip. It was an end to something that had a beginning.

So much to do so little time


Ugh Projects

In the context of things that have a beginning and things that have an end, I’m thinking about projects.

Specifically, I’m thinking about projects that are currently on my own plate. I have a dresser in the garage that I’m refinishing. That’s a project that has a beginning and an end.

I have a project of finding a new place to live. That has a beginning and an end.

I have a project of creating a proposal for a social media management branch of services that I offer. That’s a project that has a beginning and an end.

I have to repaint the house that I am moving out of in order to get my security deposit back. That’s a project with a beginning and an end.

I have a project of learning the music for playing this weekend in a service. That’s a project that has a beginning and an end.

As I think about it, each one of these projects could also just be considered something on my to do list. But I tend to reserve to do lists for things that are on a smaller scale that can be checked off after an hour. Like making an appointment with a chiropractor. Going grocery shopping. Straightening out a snafu on my bank statement. Cleaning the house. Making a cake. Getting something listed on eBay.

Projects that have a beginning and an end of a definite nature are mentally easier for me than projects that are somewhat open-ended.

I have a friend who has a whole bunch of stuff that needs to be sold on either eBay or craigslist or some sort of similar site. This to me doesn’t really feel like a project with an end, although technically when the last item is sold that will be the end of the project. But he has so much stuff that I sort of suspect that that project will never end.

Starting that project feels somewhat overwhelming. Not just the deciding on what to list, but the organization of the items that he wants to sell.

It probably doesn’t help that right now everything is all jumbled together In his garage. He’s got items to sell mixed with old paperwork mixed with tools mixed with yard equipment mixed with old books etc.

With that project we have had to break it down into steps. So we know that right now the first thing to get that project off the ground is to make one collection area which we have determined will be a set of shelves against one wall. The shelves need to be emptied out first. But when the shelves are empty then all of the items to sell can go onto the shelves. That would help a lot just to sort out everything and separate what needs to be sold from everything else.

That will be the actual beginning of that project. As the rest of the area is cleared out we will be able to set up a packing table and an area for packing supplies and be able to have a workspace to get everything shipped as it sells.

The project of selling that stuff does not feel impossible to me. It feels like a big project but because I’ve done that kind of thing so much for the last 10 years, I know it’s completely do-able. I’m looking forward to starting it and getting going.

But that is a project that’s like I said is more open ended. It won’t be as easy to say the project is officially done.