Recurring Dream

I walk up the stairs to the 2nd story of a three-story Chicago apartment building again. I cannot recall how many times I have climbed those stairs. The apartment on some visits is the peeling paint version from the 1980s with the storefront church located on the 1st floor. Tonight, it is the gentrified edition with glass entry doors. The old church is now a performance arts space.  Inside is always the same. Slightly splintered bare wood floors with a thick coat of brown paint to protect bare feet.

I walk down the hall and peer into the door that leads to the room she shares with her preacher husband. It is empty. I walk in and the floral bedspread has been neatly drawn across the mattress. I sit on the stool in front of the wooden dresser with the attached mirror. I am still fascinated by the collection of perfume bottles arranged on a mirrored plate. I pick up an ornate glass bottle filled with pink fragrance and squeeze the atomizer. A floral aroma fills my nostrils with her presence. I spin my head around, but the room is still empty.

I leave the bedroom and turn down the hall. I see one of her living daughters sitting at the kitchen table. She is an adult like me. The chairs don’t match. I sit with her and feel her sadness.

There is yellow paint on the walls and white paint on the baseboards. The metal pipes are exposed under the sink. My memories are fractured like a broken mirrored plate. Nothing quite fits but pick up a shard and you will see a piece of the past clearly.

I stand up from the table and walk toward the backdoor. There is a large two by four wooden plank across the door held up by two metal brackets. I have since learned that contraption is called a drop bar.  I lift the drop bar and turn the lock handle.

The porch is concrete with thick gray paint. The paint is always thick here. It is the years of coats, layer upon layer, to make the old appear new. It is fun to pick at it when bored. The stairs lead to the 3rd floor. I was stung by a bee sitting on those stairs. My nanny had made us kids cheese toasts in the oven. She had drizzled honey over the top of mine. I was sitting on the 2nd stair with the sun warming my left side and swinging the toast with my right hand when I felt a sharp pain on the inner flesh of my right forearm. The toast hit that gray paint honey side down. There is a cost to happiness when it is at the expense of others even if the other is a bee.

Nanny has been dead since 2008. Tonight, I am back to 1987 or so.  I feel present in the past, more solid than I feel in 2022. It is where unconditional love exists, where memories never age. This ephemeral delight is always interrupted by a stinging awareness that this isn’t real life.  Not real physical life in the present, I mean.

What is life anyway if not a dream?

My Very First Vision Board Party

This Saturday was the big bonanza! Yes, I am confident enough to type bonanza in reference to my party. My Vision Board Party 2012 was an overwhelming success.

For all who are not familiar with vision boarding, it is the concept of putting your dreams and goals for yourself in a physical and visual format. What you see, you can ask, believe and receive.I know a lot of secular people may associate vision boarding with some new age philosophy but this is biblical.

"And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." Habakkuk 2:2

Many of us have dreams and great thoughts but we never put pen to paper and run. I am running now.

 We started the afternoon with lunch. Next, we participated in a short exercise designed to help focus on what we really want out of life. I asked a series of ten questions and we all had fifteen seconds or less to complete them.

The questions included things like:

  1. What makes you smile?
  2. If you were a teacher of anything, what would you teach?
  3. What activities, when doing them, make you lose track of time?

With our minds freshly stirred, we began cutting out words, phrases and pictures from magazines and posting them on our boards.

No board was actually finished by the end of the party but we all went a away with a great start.

The best part of the afternoon was the conversation. It was nice to have a supportive environment to share your dreams out loud. This group of women is exceptionally talented. God is truly amazing bringing us all together.

My lesson of the day:

I have some extremely, smart, beautiful and talented friends.

Some pics from the event. I forgot to have someone take my picture 🙁 I did take one of my board. It is the black one.




Operation: Make It Happen

Dreams: Future teaser or false impression.

I moved to Dallas on a high note; good job, good finances, great expectations. Now it has been four years and what a roller coaster ride. Not that I expected a bed of roses or anything but I did expect a bed with some good pillows.

Maybe that is part of the problem – I'm still dreaming.

I met a friend at work. She is part of Mission: Get Out and Mingle. We both moved here to Dallas from different states – she 4 months, I four years. We both decided that we need a concrete divine intervention. A sign of sorts to let us know if we are meant to be here or go home.

I keep having dreams of my family in a big house and I am there. The unclear part of the dream is whether I am living there or visiting. The clear part, my family is together and happy. The part of me that wants to go home is the big lonely part. The part of me that wants to stay is the hopeful, little dreamer. Another part somewhere in my spirit tucked between the other two feels that if I move home, it would be a big failure.

I came to Dallas for a change, to write my book, and make a name for me. I think I started out great but financially I am not where I planned. Took too long to find a great job that would finance my future. Maybe I am still thinking in the box or still lying in bed.


Anyway we – me and my friend – have set a date: April 26th. Why? It is her birthday and for me it is a totally random way of asking God to step in for me. Why ask God? Because the just shall live by faith.

Either way, we have got to make it happen.