What dream do you remember most vividly? What message do you think it bears?

I had this dream in my mid-20s. I lived in Austin at the time, so I was probably 23 or 24. I had hoped I could find this dream written down somewhere, but I will have to go by memory. I am changing genders throughout the dream. At first, I am a young woman. I am in a house, in a bedroom specifically. There is a boyfriend involved. Someone comes up behind me and shoots me with a gigantic needle, jabbing it in my leg. There is a giant, heart-shaped bed on which the boyfriend and I are kissing. I think at this point I begin to move between a girl and a boy. I look up and across the room, and there’s a being of some sort. It’s almost like a jack-in-the-box, at least in terms of legs tightly pressed together and seemingly cemented to the small platform or box on which he stands. He wears the color of a clown but his hat is like a jester’s and checkered black and white. There is music playing. The being undulates more than dances, but there is definitely movement. After this scene, I am in the kitchen. I am now the young women’s brother. I am standing there with the boyfriend. We are having a conversation I don’t remember. I mention something about the personal. He looks at me and after a pregnant pause says “Everything is personal.” I look around the kitchen, and there are small pieces of paper (torn perhaps, perhaps cut into slivers). Every sliver of paper says “Everything is personal.” I wake up.
I think the message is multiple. I was trying to tell myself in my 20s that I didn’t buy the gender binary, perhaps. I was conversing with myself about taking things personally. I was learning that the dream space is a magical space for “reading” the mind.


Why don’t you listen to what the universe or your mind or your body or your god whispers ever more closely to you?

I am really trying. I have resumed a meditation practice. I go once a week and try to listen during that time and learn more and more about how to listen to my mind, my body and my intuition more and more. That is one of my major preoccupations right now. I understand its primacy in being a better human being.


If you could, what gift that is impossible for you to give would you offer and to whom? Why this specific gift to this specific person or persons?

My brother, the gift of more self-awareness, more joy, more clarity. I believe he’s undiagnosed with a developmental disorder, a psychological disorder or both. He fills with me profound grief. He is angry, and I am the object of much of that anger for abstract and concrete reasons solidified by the family dynamic. He is suffering, and I can’t help him.


Describe a person you love. How would you know them without their face?

The size-10 feet tucked next to mine. The smooth chest, the belly. The blue eyes. The stove skin. The flame.


How did you first know you were in love and what makes you unsure of it?

Ever? Or with the person described above? Ever: I knew for the owl fluttering inside my stomach on the dark Illinois country road. What makes me unsure? I was 15.


What besides love do you doubt and what makes you doubt it?

I struggle with my doubt to deliver my babies (stories and poems) to the world, being filled with aspiration not ambition.


In what way have you betrayed or disappointed yourself or others? In what way have you been betrayed or disappointed?

My brother believes on some level I abandoned him when I left the state for good. That’s what I think anyway. How have I been betrayed or disappointed? I don’t know about this question. In a deep way, by my mother who is largely incapable of a healthy emotional relationship. In a more superficial way, perhaps I have been most disappointed by people who are users or with whom I cannot engage in an honest way (see mother).


What are the parameters of your small world? How do you decide where to draw the line, where to focus your energies, what to give your attention and time to? What, if anything, do you do to enlarge it? If nothing, why not?

My family. My partner. My local friends. My global friends. At least once a year, I consider my friends and the ones who I want to hold closer to me. This impacts my travel, my time online (email, Facebook, etc), my snail mail correspondence. I really try to give my love and time to the people close to me, so that I don’t get scattered around and deplete energies for my own writing.


Why aren’t you more involved in trying to better the world of others?

I work all the time, do what I can. My work is my teaching, my writing (scholarly and creative) and my service (work with students in organizations). I try to think about what’s at stake with all of these ‘arms’ of my ‘work’ and to make all this ‘work’ impactful in some way in helping to better the world of others.


Seek (answers)