Art and the philosophy of life

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The Dream…7

“Wow!” he said, staring at the painting that took up most of their living room wall.

“I know, right,” she said, threading her arm through his.  “My boss gave it to me.  He stood by me today, and lost this sale, because he’s happy with my work and wanted me to have it.”

“It’s…huge,” he said, smiling at her.  “And beautiful.  It’s you, just in a different life.”

“She’s looking straight out of the picture, even though she’s working with the crystals.  Just that turn of her head, and her gaze, makes the whole picture.”

“The colors are amazing.”

“They are,” she agreed.

“When do you think this is?”

“Sometime in the future.  Hopefully the distant future,” she laughed.  “I think after we destroy the earth, there are those who will continue to fight to keep Her alive.”

“And you’ll be one of those people,” he said, knowingly.

“Seems like it.”

“You always did love the ocean and those who lived in it.”

She nodded, and snuggled closer to him.  “I think she’s trying to tell me something.  And we have no idea where the painting came from or, who painted it.”

“It’s strange,” he muttered, staring at the picture.  “It makes everything in the apartment seem tiny, she’s so big, everything is so big.”

“She represents the ocean and the gigantic mess we made.  Big, is how it should be.”

He grunted.  “I can love you now and in the future, both at the same time.”

“Maybe you can write a song about it.”

“Maybe I can.”

“The colors change with the light,” she said. “She goes from celery green, to blue gray or aqua.”

“Something smells good,” he said, turning toward the kitchen.

She grinned and started dragging him toward the other room.  “I made vegetarian chili.”

“From scratch?”

“Yes,” she said, “From scratch.”

“How did you get the picture in here?” he asked, suddenly frowning.

She stopped moving and looked at him. “I…uh…don’t know.  The guys must have done it for me.”

“There is no opening in this place that’s big enough for it to have been brought in.”

She shrugged.  “Is that important?”

“I think it is,” he said, dishing up bowls of chili.  “How did it get in here?”

“I have cornbread.”

“Perfect,” he said happily. “But what about the picture?”

“I have no idea how it got here.  I guess it just wanted to be here, so it came by itself.  That can happen can’t it?”

“No,” he said, “it can’t.”

“I don’t know what to say.  Maybe the guys took it off the stretchers and rebuilt it here.”

“Did you give them your key?”

She shook her head.  “No.”

“We need to figure this out,” he said.  “The chili is delicious. I love it.”

“Thank you.  I like it too, so let’s just enjoy it and think about the picture later, okay?”

“Sure,” he said.  “But I’m not letting this go.”

“I know.”

The woman in the picture smiled and went about her work.

The Dream, Chapter 6…for Becky, who wanted more of the story.

The plant on the kitchen windowsill leaned against the glass, soaking up what little sunlight there was.  It thought it felt a new leave growing somewhere on its stem and was happy about that.  A good plant should grow and make it’s person happy.

She sat at the kitchen table rubbing her bare foot against his.  “I feel so good, now that I know more about the dream.”

“I can tell,” he laughed, reaching down, grabbing her foot.  “And, we have sleep all night, three times in a row.”

“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?”

“It is,” he said, kissing the top of her foot.  “But I gotta run.  Practice.  New songs.  Breakfast was delicious.”

“Breakfast was a toasted English Muffin,” she laughed.  “You put the jelly on all by yourself.”

“Still,” he said, kissing her, “You toasted them.”

“I pushed the button.”

“See, you made them,” he said, drinking the last drop of coffee.

“You’re right.  I made them.”

“I love you,” he said.

“I love you too,” she said, wrapping her leg around his, leaning against him.

“I could probably be a little late,” he mumbled, into her shoulder.

“I’m sure the guys are already waiting for you.”

“See you tonight?”

“I’ll be here.”

The plant watched him go, then concentrated on her, as she cleaned off the table and washed the dishes. “I should probably try cooking something,” she said to the plant, as she turned off the water and picked up the dishtowel.

The plant tried to nod, but gave that idea up pretty quickly.  Before it lived on the windowsill, it was in a plant shop, next to a fern. The fern could move in a breeze, or whenever it wanted to, at least it seemed that way.  But a lot of the other plants couldn’t move either.  Apparently, it depended on your genius, or genious, or genes, or something like that.  He loved his windowsill.  He could watch people walking back and forth, see cars go by.  It was an east window, so the early morning sun, was gentle, never hot enough to burn any leaves.

“I know what your thinking,” she said, looking at the plant.  You’d like a friend, right?”

“No, that’s not what I was thinking at all,” shouted the plant, to no avail.

“The question is,” she mused, “would you like a companion like yourself, or someone very different. I’ll think about t.  If you have any ideas, try and let me know.  Until then, I’m off to work.”

The plant was shocked.  Another plant on the sill?  What if it had red spiders or something?  It was unthinkable.  The sill could become crowded.  What if the new plant didn’t nap at the same time.  Too many things to think about, so the plant just shut down and slept.

Her boss met her at the door, giving her the signal that very important people were in the gallery.  She smiled at him and nodded.  He took her coat and bag and she went into the large white room, to greet the customers.  She wanted to call them art lovers, but in recent years, art had become a business.  Art was bought for resale, not because it was loved.

Everyone turned toward her.  She looked wonderful in her white suit, her hair pulled back just enough to be soft and charming, rather than sever and stern.

“Hello,” she said, holding out her hand.

Everyone chatted for awhile, then got down to business.

“I’ve been looking at the art,” said the female client.  “There’s a painting in the other room that I like very much.”

“Wonderful,” she said, leading the way.  As soon as she entered the second room, she stopped.  Hanging on the wall was a picture of the woman in her dream.  It was a picture of her, at the crystal computer.”

“I’m thinking of getting it,” said the client.  “It will go with my furniture.”

“It’s not for sale.  It was hung by mistake,” she said.  “I’m so sorry.”

“But I want it,” said the client.

“I’t’s not for sale,” she said, leading everyone back into the gallery.

“I want the picture,” said the client, angrily.  “May I speak to the owner.”

“Of course.”

The owner listened to the client, smiling ans nodding, then said, “But she’s right, the work is not for sale.  It was hung by mistake.  I’m very sorry, but I have something in my office, I think you’ll like, if you care to take a look”

As soon as they were out of sight, she took the painting off the wall and put it in her office.

An hour latter the gallery owner walked in and sat across from her.  “Tell me,” he said.

“Did they buy anything?”

“They did.  The nude man in my office.”

“You hated that painting.”

“I know,” he laughed.  “Good riddance.  I’ll never understand why people think if they buy something in my office, it’s worth more.  Now tell me about the painting you refused to sell.”

“I want it,” she said.

“Okay, but what’s the story?”

She told him.  Well, most of it anyway.  When she finished, he got up, buttoned his suit jacket and said, “Take it.  Consider it a bonus for all the great work you do.”  Then he told her he was going to lunch.

She turned to the painting, and looked for a signature.  There wasn’t one.  Neither of them knew where the painting came from.  He told her it wasn’t listed on any invoice, and he certainly didn’t have it put on the wall.

She stared at the woman on the canvas and the woman started back at her.




The Dream…5

She stared at the ceiling, listening to the phone ring.  Then she looked at the clock.  She’d been in the dream for twenty minutes.

“I need more,” she whispered, and closed her eyes.

But it was impossible. She couldn’t empty her m ind.  She told herself that it was okay.  She just needed a break.  Something to eat, something to drink, and then she would try again.  That would also give her time to think about what she had seen.

“That was me,” she said to the plant, sitting on the kitchen windowsill.  “And, I know it was, or IS real.”  The plant tried to nod but it had incredibly stiff leaves and, therefore, couldn’t manage it.  “I want to know when that’s happening?  Where it’s taking place, and if it’s a memory, my future, or just a dream and nothing more?”  The plant remained silent.  In fact, it had fallen asleep, so it was absolutely was no help to her at all.

She ate another peanut butter and jelly sandwich, three gigantic chocolate chip cookies, a fudge bar, and a couple of cashews.  Then she ripped the top off of a strawberry Greek yogurt, and ate that.

“I think it’s in the future,” she said, tapping her spoon against the edge of the yogurt cup.  “That feels right,” she grunted, popping a frozen waffle into the toaster oven.

“Okay.  It’s me, in an ocean, looking like something from out of the the black lagoon, only a really pretty green color, doing something I know is truly important.  But why?”

The toaster over binged and she grabbed the waffle, then dropped it onto the counter, shaking her hand and muttering, “hot, hot, hot.”  She gave the waffle a minute to cool off, then ate it in big bites.  “I’m ready to try again,” she told the plant, who was quite busy dreaming about roots, small seeds, and chlorophyl.

She got down on the floor, made sure everything was in order, closed her eyes, and slowly drifted back to the cave.

The woman was tapping and twisting the crystals, and looking at some kind of crystal tablet.  Upon closer look, there seemed to be a platform farther back in the small space.  A bed possibly, or natural table, made out of another huge crystal.  There was a large shell on one corner.  A decoration, or something else?  She wondered which.

She watched the woman continue twisting, and tapping, crystals.  She sometimes ran a loose crystal over the face of the tablet.  She did that for quite some time, and the longer she watched her, the more beautiful she became, and the more she understood.

She was a researcher.  An oceanographer, of sorts.  She lived in the small alcove inside the cave, and worked in the ocean itself.  She took samples, did experiments, and counted fish and other species.  She was trying to help the ocean, and those survivors who remained .  She knew the chances of reversal were slim, but she was doing what she could.  She believed that she might make a difference, no matter how small.

She had been made for deep ocean depths, as well as topside.  She had volunteered for the job.  Everyone had volunteered for the jobs they held, and they were all altered to fit into the environments in which they would live, for the rest of their lives.  Apart, and alone.  Always.

But she was happy, that much was obvious.  She was doing what she loved.  She thought the ocean was beautiful, the fish, her only companions, had become her friends.  She was never lonely.  She had no memories of being anything but what she was.  And then she stopped touching the crystals and hung her feet over the edge of her small cave floor, and kicked her webbed feet in the water, like a child playing.  Then she turned a rich,  dark purple, slide into the water and sped away.

She sat up and pushed the blanket to the side.  She stared at the clock, two a.m.  Her head was full of pictures and the story.  She went into the kitchen and put water into the tea kettle.  Then she ripped open an envelope of hot chocolate and poured it into a mug.  The plant wanted to know how things turned out, but had no way of asking, so it sat there hoping to be watered.

The whistle on the tea kettle snapped her out of her stupor.  She stirred the powder, while she poured the boiling hot water over it.

She was positive that what she saw was in the future.  She knew the choices she would make when that time arrived.  She stared at her hands, trying to imagine webbing between her fingers, but she couldn’t do it.  Then she poured water into a glass and watered the plant, who made a sound of relief that she couldn’t hear.

She turned, when she heard the key in the lock.

“Still up, I see,” he said.

She smiled, and nodded. “How was your gig?”


“That’s great,” she said, happily.

“Did the dream keep you up,” he asked, walking toward her.

“Yes, but not in the way you think.  I have a story to tell you,” she said, putting two frozen waffles into the toaster oven.

He watched her, and knew he was in for something big.  She was cooking, and that always meant something big.

“This is NOT cooking,” she laughed. “I know what you’re thinking.”

“Looks like cooking to me,” he snickered, putting two plates on the table.

“I know what the dream means,” she said, walking into his arms.

“Tell me everything,” he said, hugging her.  “I can’t wait to hear.”




Post Script

When she told him, over waffles, and lemonade.  The plant was happy because it really wanted to know what was going on, and people never remember that plants are part of the family, so they fail to explain things to them.


Post Script 2

I’ve been having that dream for a very long time.


The Dream…4

She went back to work with a lot on her mind.  She needed a plan.  No one else came in that afternoon, so she caught up on calls and paperwork.  Her boss informed her that a buyer was coming in from Italy next week, and wanted to see her specifically.  She pulled his file and made of list of things to have on hand when he arrived.  Another customer, was coming in from California, and she had very unusual taste.  She made another list for her.

As soon as she got home, he called and said he wouldn’t be getting in until the wee hours of the morning.  They gig was lasting far longer than they expected..  She wished him luck, made kissy noises into the phone, and told him she would see him in the morning.  Then she made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat while she thought about what she was going to do.

She lit a candle and laid down on the floor in the living room.  She covered herself with a light blanket, put a circle of protection around herself, and started doing the relaxation meditation she had learned as a teenager, when she, and her friends, were heavily into magic.

As she relaxed, the floor disappeared, as it always did, her jaw gave her a bit of a fight, but she eventually won, and then she let go of all the stress and worry she had been carrying around for months.  She took a couple of deep breaths and just let go of everything.

Suddenly, she saw her cutting though the water at an incredible speed.  Racing toward the opening of a cave.  She dove, but didn’t slow.  After a few minutes, she pulled herself up onto an opening.  A tiny cave, within the cave itself.  It was filled with crystals, which were all glowing.  It was where she lived.  She didn’t have to watch her, she already knew that her work was important, she knew how to use the crystals to send in her reports.  She was green, and had small scales and a tiny fin between her shoulder blades.  She was built for speed.  Slick, with webbed fingers and toes.

“When is this?  Where is this?,” she whispered, watching the woman, move around her small space.

She watched the woman’s body turned yellow, then blue, as she sat down, and began to touch the crystals..

Then the phone rang and everything went blank.

The Dream…3

She walked around the gallery, but didn’t really see the artwork.  She went to her white desk, in her white office, and just sat thinking about the dream.

Still, when a faithful customer came in asking for her, she put on her best smile, hugged him lightly in greeting, and told him she had several things put aside for him to look at, before they were offered to the public.

The man was delighted and took one of the paintings, and a small sculpture of a powerful looking dancer.  It was an easy sell, since she loved both of the things he purchased.  When he left, and her excitement faded, she felt exhausted.  She couldn’t remember the last time she slept through the night.

His birthday was at the end of the week.  So, she decided to take a lunch break away from the gallery, and go to the antiquarian bookstore down the block.  She wanted to get him a First Edition of Orwell’s, 1984.  She said hello to the owner and told him what she wanted.  He said he did have a copy, and asked her if she was she willing to pay the price.  It was a game they often played with each other.

After looking at the book and smiling at him,  she walked away from his beautiful counter and started looking around, while he wrapped it.,

Two women walked in and were obviously in the middle of a rather heated discussion.

“If she’s having the same dream, she shouldn’t wait for it to come to her,” said the woman.  “SHE needs to go to the dream.  I can’t believe you didn’t tell her to do that.”

“I forgot about it,” said the other woman, apologetically.  “I don’t know why I didn’t think of it.”

“Well, call her tonight.  “It’s the only way she’ll find out what it means.”

“Here we are,” said the owner.  “It’s the perfect gift.”

“Thank you,” she said, taking the package  “You always send me away with the perfect gift.”

“I know,” he said, his eyes twinkling.

As she was leaving, she walked up to one of the women and said, “Excuse me.  I couldn’t help overhearing what you were saying.”

“See Edna,” said the second woman.  “I told you, you were loud.”

“She wasn’t loud, it’s just that I am having the same dream every night and what do you mean a person should go to the dream to find out what it means.”

Edna smiled at her and motioned her toward the door.  Once outside, they sat on a bench and Edna offered her a cookie from her bakery bag.  She took one, thanked her and said, “Please tell me about going to the dream.”

“Well, here’s the best thing to do,” said Edna, shoving an entire cookie into her mouth, then holding up her finger while she chewed and swallowed.  “I really love those,” she mumbled.

“She really does,” smiled the other woman.

“I’m not professional Dream Catcher, or anything, but the my advice would be to go home, lay on the floor of a room you find peaceful and comfortable, you may put on some calming music, nothing with words, of course, that can complicate things, but some instrumental you find to your liking.  And put a blanket over yourself, because you’ll be cold when the temperature drops.”

“When the temperature drops?” she said.

“Of course,” said Edna.  “You’re be going into an altered state of consciousness, and it will get colder.

“She’s right,” said the second woman.  “It really will get colder.”

“Then close your eyes and completely relax.  Make sure you relax your jaw, because that holds the most tension.  It’s okay if your mouth is a little open, you know.  I mean you’re jaw need a rest after all.  Anyway, then you go to your dream, nice and peaceful, and you watch it play out.  You start at the beginning,  like watching Netflix, but more personal, if you know what I mean.”

“Just let it play out, dear,” said the second woman.

“Don’t try and change anything, if you want to know what it’s trying to tell you.  Just watch it.  Let it happen.”

“Thank you, so much for your help” she said.   She looked down, reached into her bag, to pull out some money, hoping to threat the women to lunch,  but when she looked up, they were gone.  The cookie bag sat empty, on the bench.

The Dream…2 a short story

She knew she had dozed off, because she woke up as he was trying to get out of bed without waking her.

“Sorry,” he said, kissing her.  “Gotta get to the studio.  We’re playing tomorrow night.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.  “And sorry about…”

“Not your fault you had a dream,” he said, smiling at her.  “But maybe you should talk to someone about it.  A reoccurring dream could mean something important.  And I’m not good at that kind of thing.”

“You know I won’t,” she said, throwing off the sheet.  “Mind if I join you?  I don’t want to be late for work either.”

He chuckled and went to turn on the shower.

They ate a quick breakfast of English muffins and coffee, kissed each other goodbye, and went their separate ways.

The day went well.  She sold a two hundred thousand dollar painting, at the gallery, and talked with three new artists, one of them she thought might be a real find.  The gallery owner was more than pleased with her.  He knew she understood artists, as well as the people who bought art.

It was eight, when they finally sat down to dinner.

“This is really good,” he said, ripping a piece of bread off of a loaf of Italian loaf, handing it to her, then ripping a piece off for himself.

“You really love to do that, don’t you,” she chuckled.

“Hey, it’s how you’re supposed to eat bread,” he said, smiling widely.

“You’re so easy,” she laughed.  “You’re eating elbow macaroni from a box, and sauce from a jar, and you think it’s good.”

“It’s delicious,” he muttered.

“I have dessert.”

“Seriously?” he asked, his eyes sparkling.  “Tell me.”

“It’ll ruin the surprise.”

“Don’t care.  Tell me.”

She leaned close to him and said, “Dilly Bars.”

He got up, grabbed her, kissed her, then started dancing her around the kitchen.  “You, my love, are the very best of everything.”

She laughed and hugged him.  “A little Dairy Queen and you’re the happiest man in the world.”

He stopped moving and looked at her.  “No, you make me the happiest man in the world, the DQ is just an added bonus.”

Once everything was cleaned up and put away, they started reading and listening to music.

“You can’t put it off much longer,” he finally said.  “It’s one in the morning, we have to go to bed.  Maybe you won’t dream tonight.”


“Come on,” he said, smiling at her.  “I’ll hold you all night long.”

She nodded, and let him take her hand.

He fell asleep immediately.  His breathing rhythmic and steady.  She only wished she could do that.  She tried her hardest to stay awake, but eventually sleep overtook her and fell into the dream.

While she was suspended in the water, and the fish were happily nibbling at her toes, she looked down and wasn’t at all surprised to see that her feet were webbed and her skin was green, half way to her knees.  It was the green color of a turtle.  A pretty green, not a blue green, a yellow green.  She watched her feet move back and forth, knowing that the webbing made her legs more legs powerful.  And since she was in the water, it only made sense that they had changed.

She looked at her hands, and saw the same thing.  She studied the webbing, between her fingers and knew she’d be a much better swimmer now.  The tiny fish were swimming around her, and she reached out to pet them.  Some of the larger fish rushed in and she ran her hand down their sides.

She started to laugh, and quickly realized that she shouldn’t be  breathing in water, so she jerked awake, her body trembling, heart pounding.

She looked at him, still asleep.  She carefully got out of bed and tiptoed into the bathroom, where she sat on the edge of the tub, trying to calm herself.  She was afraid to look at her hands and feet, but when she finally found the courage to do so, they looked just like they always did.  She closed her eyes in relief, then curled up on the bathroom rug and slept there, until morning.

The dream…1 a short story in 5 chapters…

The water should have felt colder, she thought, as she slowly sank deeper into the ocean. She imagined she looked like the drowning victims in movies, only without the impossible lighting effects and accompanying music.  That made her smile.  She moved her arms, and kicked her feet, but she knew it wouldn’t do any good, so she stopped moving and just hung suspended.  A fish bumped into her, now and then, but she didn’t mind.  She liked fish.  It was so peaceful, so quiet, she thought, taking a deep breath…

Wait…TAKING A DEEP BREATH? UNDER WATER?  She jerked awake, panting, grabbing the sheet with both hands.

“The dream again?” he asked roughly, rolling onto his back.

She was lost in the moment, feeling the fish, the water, the silence.

“Come on,” he said gently, pulling her into his arms.  “It’s okay.  It was just a dream.”

She curled up against him, her heart trying to slow to a normal beat, her body trying to uncoil.

“Anything different this time?” he whispered, running his hand down her arm.

She shook her head.

“Fish?” he said.

She nodded.

“You like fish.”

She nodded again.

“You’re having the dream almost every night ,” he said, as if she needed reminding.

She closed her eyes and pressed harder against him.

“Tell me what it feels like when you’re in it,” he said.

She looked up at him and said, “Familiar. It feels, familiar.”

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