I had some vivid dreams last night. I often have vivid dreams. One in particular stands out as a bit weird. I was being hosted by a department store to try out their various departments. I was being shown by one of the hosts to an area where I would be sleeping the night… and I was with another woman. The host turned a corner between rugs and art, and she brought us into this area where there were two beds made up in the style of what I might imagine finding in one of the most opulent homes in Texas; this one with dramatic leather cowhide stretched headboards for each of the queen sized beds, the coverlets were somewhat plain- dark steel colored sheets that looked like they were made of a thicker silk, a wagon wheel turned into a massive overhead chandelier, the floor was slate with a rather large cream and vanilla toned long haired and wavy sheep skin throw, the hair curly like that of an Icelandic Sheep. Our host retreats and lets us have time to settle in and I declare to my companion: “Well, looks like this is us”. “Here? We are sleeping here tonight?” she responds. “Yes, isn’t it great! Dinner- I believe will be served just over there”. I point to a remote area beyond shiny counters whose contents are hard to make out… it is hard to see. I notice that there are customers still in the store and this image fades and I wake up. It’s 1:25am.
Very strange. What in the world? I focus my mind on the dream because usually these images evaporate fast and I want to remember the details this time. And I recognize the woman in my dream. Funny how I got connected up in this strange mini-film to an old colleague whose face only recently appeared in my world because of a recent encounter I had with her picture on the friends list of a mutual Facebook Friend? I have not worked with nor seen her in over 23 years. There she was with her handsome ethnic husband and two adorable boys. In the picture they look to be about 6 and 8 respectively. All of them beaming at the camera- so full of joy. She looks as beautiful as ever with her raven black wavy hair and that ear to ear smile. Her skin so perfect, those expressive eyes. She had one of those spirits that just filled the room; she was fairly tall, very lean, elegant in her adornments. Classy and never over done. And smart- very smart. Quick witted. Someone would say something funny and her head would whip back with this brilliant fluid laugh swirled around us and then quickly tuck her head in embarrassment at her excitement, a self conscious hand covering her mouth.. but her shoulders would still shake out her merriment. I was never good friends with her, she was just one of those co-workers that you enjoyed working alongside. I recall as I looked at her picture thinking- they probably had one of those amazing traditional Indian weddings – full of glitter and spectacle. I could picture her in some kind of opulent setting with tents and flowing silk gowns – waving fabrics in the wind. And she, lost in the moment with her beloved – smiling at him in full force.
I remember that I hesitated to ‘friend her’, it’s been over twenty years after all and we barely knew each other. It would be weird. It’s not that I don’t have a large list of friends that are barely acquaintances- in the beginning with Facebook, I was very liberal with my friend requests and acceptances both. There are quite a few casual friends on Facebook that I really enjoy- their posts are fun or profound or just human and good. I have connections around the globe with suppliers and other work connections over the years that are really great. I enjoy seeing one person posting his fishing outing in the Netherlands with commentary in Dutch or another sharing a wedding picture from over thirty years ago that took place in Finland- even though I only met her once over a Musk Ox dinner in Greenland. A poem or song shared by the niece of an aunt whom I have only met once in person – when we were both little girls – I was about seven years old and a flower girl and while I am sure she was at that wedding in Oslo, Norway- there were so many people at that wedding that I don’t actually remember her physically. But now, I connect with her on Facebook and perhaps one day we will have a cup of coffee together in Norway- on one of my future visits. We share a common bond with our spiritual beliefs, so it is nice occasionally to see her expressions and moments on the net.
We are all fundamentally the same. We seek connection with each other. And even though connections these days may seem impersonal – far away from one another physically, in this place we call cyber space- that maybe that is OK. People complain that the internet has turned us into people that don’t know how to interact with each other in the real world. There is some truth in that. Maybe we are more connected now than we have been in the past, when we lived in isolation from one another. Perhaps it’s a matter of balancing out the cyber from the real.
What would it be like to write an ordinary hand written letter.. it’s been over 20 years I am sure since I have written one of those. In my youth, I loved writing letters and sending them off, and waiting for a response. Today, that seems so old fashioned and it does not even occur to us to consider it. I wonder if I did write one of those letters, would anyone answer it? Life is so busy for most of us, it might end up on one of those to do lists that never gets done. Or, maybe they would text me back. This could be an interesting experiment. I am putting it on my list. I am going to write an ordinary letter in the next week or so, and I will send it to someone in my past… or maybe, to someone with whom I have a more shallow connection on Facebook. Someone I would love to rekindle friendship with in a more meaningful way or someone I just want to get to know better. Create a future that carries a deeper community of friendships.