Life is but a dream

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”  —Edgar Allen Poe

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I rush through the airport headed somewhere, wherever that may be. A familiar but unexpected voice calls to me. A surprise. Hey, Annee! How’s it going? It’s out of place here but I say hello to J. Then his wife, S, appears and soon all of them are around. W and E and G and B are there too. Where are they going? To dance of course. I wasn’t invited. I wasn’t supposed to know about their trip. No one was going to tell me. B tries to explain it to me now  but it’s just more upsetting. I miss him. I miss dancing with him. But now I’m betrayed by him. Even though I had been in a hurry, time slowed down enough for me to talk to him. Just long enough for the anger to continue. After the ride on the airplane—which I don’t remember—we’re finding a parking spot. Me and someone and more someones. Then there’s a crash. Broken ribs—all of them—punctured lung, pain, deep breaths, in and out. Driving again but it’s not scary. We stay at someone’s house, and J, S, W, E, G, and B are there again. Somehow, it’s their fault. My lungs hurt. Every breath and movement is pain but somehow I’m okay. Dance is still mine.

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“Dancing is like dreaming, but with your feet.”

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It’s dinner time and everyone is eating dinner it seems. It’s in Vegas. A large buffet in a huge building. The dessert buffet selection is too small. A lady comments on it. There’s playgrounds indoor for the kids. After you finish eating. Later. Hiding in a van. I’m on the inside of the restaurant and the outside all at the same time. I’m there and I’m not. A father and his adult son meet for lunch even though it’s dinner. Then there’s a bang. I don’t know why. It keeps going. Even when the help arrives. It keeps going. And going.

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“The traditions of the dead generations weigh like a nightmare upon the living.” —Karl Marx

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He needs you. That’s what they tell me. You have to go. But he’s deployed. He’s in a country. It starts with a K just like his name. It might be a Stan. Go. Something’s happened. Someone’s with me while I look, but only sometimes. They are looking for someone too. Did they find him? The place is in ruins. There’s more than one location we have to look. We look in the bunk. He’s not there. K is gone. His older partner in service is missing too. Don’t look for that guy, just find yours is what they tell me. Triage. He is old. He will die anyways if he hasn’t already. Other people are there. Some are soldiers and some are citizens. All of them seem to be hurt. What if he’s dead. We look everywhere. Then I remember. He has places to hide. He left me something. Back to the bunk. His tall laundry basket. We dump it out and under all the clothes a scroll like paper rolls out. There’s sweet lemon drops with it. I know it’s meant for me. It gives me what I need to find him and I do. Find him I do. He hold me tightly. I needed you. He has more treats. He’s unharmed somehow. He has so many sweets, popcorn and lemon drops but all of it is from this country so it’s different. He knows that food from K-stan is my favorite. There’s sweet milk too in small paper cartons. We eat treats before we leave. Get out it’s not safe yet. They make us go so we pack the treats up. He needs me close so I cling to his arm. Usually I hate this. I feel needy when I want to be near someone and with them but every time I leave his side he makes me come back. He needs me next to him. It’s nice. His first name is E. It’s his last name that’s K. We go home and still he wants me close by. The treats are great. There’s a restaurant. It’s like Pop’s on Riverdale. Then there’s a plan for hiking. We go by the house I’ve been to before, in another time. I get to the place for hiking before him. My hands are empty and lonely without his. It’s colder. When I leave this place I can still feel him needing me there, needing my constancy.

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“I had a dream that you were mine
I’ve had that dream a thousand times
A thousand times, a thousand times.”

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Don’t let the bedbugs bite!

❤ Annee

 

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Love Will Find You There

Love and marriage, love and marriage
Go together like a horse and carriage
This I tell you brother
You can’t have one without the other

—Frank Sinatra

I’m currently taking a class entitled “Sociology of the Family.” We’re mere days into this class and already there has been so much good information. One of my favorite things about school is the classes and things that make you think. I’m not talking about “Give your opinion on blah blah blah” or “What was the author trying to say…” No. But what I do enjoy is the classes with readings that I actually want to read and I end up marking the margins of the book with thoughts and questions.

This class is doing all of that for me. We are reading a book called, “Marriage Go Round” and it’s so interesting. Along with this, we have articles to read for class each day. For class on Tuesday we had to read this article which was so informative to me. It enlightened me to ideas I had never considered or realized that these were even real things. Marriage without love? Who-da-thunk-it?

As I learned in class, the idea of love before marriage and falling into love has only existed for about 200 years. Before that, the feelings of “love” were something associated with adultery and a socially disapproved of relationship. Arranged marriages were popular, but even if a marriage wasn’t arranged, it was simply a union based on the benefits that would come. A man had no reason to marry unless he inherited land or something so that he could start a family to help him care for the land. Marriage simply made sense for society. In fact, if a marriage was not approved of, it could be annulled simply for that reason. One thing my professor pointed out between differences of relationships today and in the past is that it used to be that marriage, sex, and childbearing were a package deal. Today though, those things are very separated. In fact, you can separate all three of them. (If you didn’t know this, go have a talk with your Mommy or Doctor 😉 ).

 Immediately after learning all this, my mind started going back through history and trying to understand and it surprisingly made a lot of sense.

Take the classic example of Romeo and Juliet. They were in love. It was disapproved of because A) it was not an arranged or approved of marriage and B) they were “in love” but “love” didn’t exist like it does today. So many people romanticize Romeo and Juliet, but for what purpose? They were going against societal norms and we find it romantic. Kind of odd if you ask me.

Now let’s talk about fairy tales. If you’re up to date with the modern world or have read the original tales, you probably know that most stories don’t have the happy endings we generally associate with them (Thanks Disney). A lot of the princess-y stories center around this idea of true love. Many of them meet and “fall in love” after hours or days and sometimes it’s even “love at first sight.” When most of these stories were written, love was still the taboo thing that I talked about earlier. Perhaps that’s why these stories fit in so well to our modern day is because of our acceptance of things such as “love at first sight” and “soul mates.”

 Another example could be the book, “The Giving Tree.” I’d like you to think of this book as a mix between the old view of love and the new. The book begins with the old kind of love. The boy and the tree love each other and do things for each other which makes them love each other. Later on, the boy’s view changes though and he begins to have the new view. In this view, individualism is a large part. He takes from the tree without giving back. The boy is happy throughout these parts, but the tree is not. In the end of the book, he reverts to the old views and their love is true because they are focused on that idea of self sacrifice again to make the other happy.

Basically the old idea of love is that marriage and such came first for the benefit of everyone and then you grew to love that person. However, that love was not necessarily the romantic type of love. Nowadays, we fall in love first, and then get into a relationship. The author of the article mentioned earlier talked about this. Her point was basically that if we view marriage as a business type deal, then a union has been made that allows for the benefit of both parties. However, if we have to “fall in love” to get married, then without any other foundation, we can “fall out of love” and therefore destroy the marriage. “George Bernard Shaw once described marriage as an institution that brings two people together under the influence of the most violent, delusive, and transient of passions, and requires them to swear they’ll remain in that abnormal, exhausting condition until death do them part.”

(Update: I’ve also realized that this whole idea of no falling in love before marriage completely eradicates the modern view on same-sex marriage and transgender and all of that. If marriage is just a business contract for the benefit of both parties and attraction plays no part in that, then same-sex marriage and attraction is irrelevant).

All of this thinking this week has caused love and marriage to separate in my mind. Why the heck do they have to be involved? Do I want love or do I want marriage? Isn’t it better to attain marriage and then gain love rather than risk loosing love AND marriage?

Of course, it’s absurd for me to say I don’t want love, especially when this new view is the only one I’ve ever had until this week. But now I’m beginning to realize that this romantic love really isn’t what I want at all. Of course I want the feeling of excitement when my potential mate walks in the room. Of course I want him to hold my hand and dance with me in the rain. But I don’t need this romantic love view that we could lose for that. All I need is a best friend who I care about. Love should be about that self sacrifice and benefiting of each other. It should be a companionship with which you navigate life rather than the fireworks that go off when you kiss but eventually fade away.

All of this had been on my mind this week, and then in class today I asked a few questions which sparked a discussion. It ultimately ended with us questioning whether love was even real or not. We talked about Lee’s different styles of love and how he came up with different words to explain different kinds of “love.” Another thing mentioned in the last class was the idea of how our increasing technology and such causes people to continuously ask “Is there someone better out there for me?” There’s so many dating apps and such which widen the dating pool on such a grand scale. In the past, there was the people you met in real life and that was it. I would guess that this question is what causes people to cheat and/or break up. It causes unhappiness.

My patriarchal blessing when talking about my future husband mentions something about a “choice.” Because of this, over years I’ve come to realize how much of “love” is a choice. I am a firm believer that I do not have a soul mate. I can make a marriage work with any man who loves God so long as we are willing to work together and choose to love each other.

Within the church, there has been some talk of this in recent years. I know that church leaders have said that soul mates are not “real.” In addition to this, Elder Hales gave a wonderful talk. This information from the church is great, but I’ve also realized that I need to dig deeper. We’ve learned in class about the history of marriage, but what about marriage within the church? What about polygamy? What is God’s “stance on love” and does he think we should get married and then fall in love or fall in love and then get married? What is “right”?

What do you think? Am I right about all of this? Or do you completely disagree?

I’m constantly surrounded by couples and “I love you’s” and I’m pretty sure that 95% of my songs on spotify have some mention of love. Valentine’s day is in a few weeks so it’s only going to be getting worse. I’m curious though and I want to know more. I’ll get to the bottom of this and maybe find myself a man along the way 😉

a voice inside is telling you,
you’ve never gone too far,
whispering the promise of a prayer,
love will find you there.

Blow a kiss, Goldfish!

❤ Annee