“The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.” –Anaïs Nin

Prudence Jane Abbott. I’ve decided. If I ever change my name, that’s what I’m going to change it to. Or maybe Susannah Phoebe. I don’t know. I’m definitely keeping the Abbott though, because it’s an A name. It’s in the first fifteen letters of the alphabet. Criteria #1 for changing my last name.

Not that I’ll ever change my name. I LOVE my name. In those slumber party questionnaires, whenever the question “If you could change your name, what would your new name be?” came up, I always said I wouldn’t. Why? I love my name. It suits me. People always tell me I look like my name. Occasionally people tell me I look like a Kate or an Emily or something like that, but those people are on crack. The only reason I would ever change my name is if I needed a cover for the CIA or I joined the Witness Protection Program.

So, back to Prudence Jane. I have been having some weird dreams lately. I think it’s because I have a cold and I’ve been on medication all week. I’ve also been sleeping a lot more, mainly because every afternoon at four, Jude looks at me and says “Go to sleep. Now.” And when Jude tells you to do something, you do it. So, anyway, during my latest nap, I had a very weird dream. I was in a beach house with a bunch of people from school, including Jude. We were taken hostage by a couple of nondescript but very threatening-looking men. All of us hostages were wearing name tags, and somebody got the bright idea to flip them over and tell our captors different names. So Jude or somebody tells me my new name is Prudence. Lovely. Because when I’m held hostage for ransom, I’m going to tell these dudes a fake name so that they can’t find my family or whoever to try to get me back. I guess they’re assuming I’m just going to want to Patty Hearst the whole situation and go with the flow. (Un)Fortunately, I woke up soon after I was dubbed Prudence, so I have no idea what happened.

One of the best books I ever read involved hostages: Bel Canto by Anne Patchett. The single best independent reading assignment I’ve ever had. Hostages make emotional connections with their captors in a beautiful blend of opera, prose, paranoia and romance. Simply wistful and lovely. Read it. Now.

Okay, back to the point at hand. According to www.experiencefestival.com, “Dreaming about being a hostage suggests that you may experience feelings of victimization or entrapment. This can be indicative of a situation in daily life, such as an oppressive and unsatisfactory relationship or financial difficulties. The dream suggests that you may experience feelings of powerlessness and cannot see your way out of a difficult situation. Because a hostage is taken against his will, you may be feeling as though you have been trapped by another or by circumstances. Also, the hostage situation in your dream may represent a part of your personality that is not being expressed. It could be your creativity, intellect, or inner freedom. The purpose of this dream may be to make you more aware of the limiting conditions in your life. Additionally, the dream may trigger your imagination and problem-solving abilities enabling you to see new possibilities.”

Huh. I had no idea I was feeling all this. Gee thanks, subconscious. I knew you’d come in handy someday.

I’m not really in the midst of a major identity crisis, like the one of a couple weeks ago, but I guess I could do with some help from my dreams. What do I know? Maybe the meaning of life is hidden in my dreams. All I have to do is crack the code.

Now, it’s true that I have a huge amount of homework. It’s also true that the next weekend will allow very little time for such work. However, MLK day is on my side. Or so I hope. I’m just going to keep on trucking, and do my best and cut myself some slack because of how crappy I’ve been feeling all week.

On a side note, I watched “Almost Famous” with Stella once I woke up after my accidental two hour nap. That was quite an experience. It’s just the kind of move that I like-a wonderful group of idiosyncratic people trying to make something of themselves and live life the way they want to live it with an amazing soundtrack. I’ll put it right up there with “Stranger than Fiction”.

But watching that movie made me want to sing and travel. It didn’t make me want to be a Band Aid or a rock star or a writer for Rolling Stone. It made me want to travel and sing while I’m doing it. Today, Stella and Jude and I were sitting under a tree talking, and one of us brought up the occasionally mentioned idea of going on a trip through Europe in 2012, culminating in London for the Olympics. It seems like a great idea to me-all of us graduated from college, before we scatter across the country to pursue our whatevers. I mean, how much fun would that be? All we’ve got to do is make a lot of money and do a lot of planning in the next three years. Who’s with me?

So this may be the most random post of all time. Eh, well. Sometimes thoughts just need to get out. I guess this was one of those times.

Sweet dreams,

S.

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” – William Shakespeare

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