Writers—this one, anyway—makes no secret of preferring the created world to the real one. With the exception of Art and Music and the craft and care of good food which exist in this temporal space, the not-real world is my choice as the ideal place to live.

I devoted this space yesterday to an extended whine: the emotional wresting match of the current chapter (a Round Two that followed the very satisfying Round One of Chapter One) and the baggage that comes with it…the self-imposed quality demands on Writer Lynn; the state of feeling vastly underwhelmed with myself. Tough times, but not unexpected ones.

And here’s the kicker: In this internal altercation between perfect worlds and present ones, an ally. A dream.

At least, I think it was.

In the dream, I was telling someone about the greater meaning of the book; the huge idea behind the apparent one. I don’t remember who the tellee was, man or woman, friend or acquaintance newly-met. But I do remember the reaction. The nod. The smile. The brows raised in impressed approval. It was all I could have hoped for.

But I’m not sure whether it was real.

I subscribe to the idea that all acts and all beings in dreams are reflections of the dreamer. Even if that theory is nothing more than an expression of airy theory, the exercise of examining dreams offers profound insights into the state of the mind. But not being entirely certain whether an episode was real or dreamed…a thornier challenge.

I may prefer one world to the other, but I never have trouble telling the difference between them. Created World often creeps into Real World—carries the emotions, the characteristics, the chess-piece movement of the living work across the reality divide. The pleasant trespass can leave me weeping, smiling, frantically scratching at the notebook page—but I always know which world is which.

Not this time.

I am tempted to worry about the blurring of the line between real and not. Writers have enough trouble distinguishing between worlds without having to make a focused guess about which is which. I could worry. But I won’t.

The real/not-real gift is not such a difficult thing to accept after all. If the reaction of the smiling stranger was a dream, the sign of self-approval from a wiser and more forgiving me, I’ll take it and run. If that stranger’s reaction was, in fact, real but misfiled in an overtaxed brain, my reaction will be no different: take it and run.

I may be crazy. But I am not nuts.

 

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