There are pages and clips from magazines, glossy sheets of eye candy with handwritten notes in the corners. They say things like, “You could do this” or “You should do this.” Sometimes they say “You could write this better” or “This looks like the shop you’re going to start someday.” I get an envelope in the mail once a week or so, stuffed with clippings like this and accompanied by handwritten notes on handmade paper. I’ve begun tacking these clippings beside my bed, a space for dreams.

I’m not always one to dream extraneously—my dreams have usually been in secreted boxes and scrapbooks of treasures—things I love and dare not wish for aloud; things which disappear in the spoken breath, like the wisp by which they’re accompanied. A few people know some of them, and now you might too.

I dream of Europe and the Rhine, stone bridges and the Lake District.

I dream of making things and not keeping them because things take up space and I dream of space.

I dream of finishing and I dream of beginning and I dream of being happy in the middling.

I dream of a boutique on Main Street small town and adopting small children in China.

I dream of people and of front porches.

I dream of pretty things and sturdy things and mixing the two things together.

I dream of gardens, indoor and out.

I dream of being published and I dream of the day when I can crumple what I’ve written and not feel like a part of me went into the garbage with it.

I dream of being unselfish. And giving. And of living without dreams and only real visions for what really can be.

But, in the meantime, I dream of next week’s envelope from home and the possibilities it will hold. Perhaps someone thinks I could quest in unknown frontiers or tea-taste in Kashmir. Perhaps she’ll be convinced of my ability to sew a full clothing line or start a book club. I’m glad for her faith to believe that someday all those clippings tacked to my wall won’t just be dreams any longer, but part of the fabric of me.

February 2006