Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 17.....in which I have trouble communicating with my family back in Texas


I had weird dreams.

What else is new?

In this dream, there's a bride about to be married to a guy who happens to look like Pierce Bronsan. I'm having an affair with him. The bride's forgiving towards me. The idea is if it happens to be a case of a man being in love with two women, he really can't help himself. Maybe he's in love with me AND her. But if he's just a womanizer that's a whole different story. We decide to test him. I forgot what we did. But he ends up being guilty. He isn't in love with two women. He just likes having as many women as he can. The bride is devastated. I'm not as upset as her which makes me realize I had never loved him in the first place. I had just liked the attention. I decide that makes me just as bad as the groom.

Then I had lucid dreams about some evil place underwater. I try to fight the evil, but have no idea how to do it. I'm given a pill that is supposed to kill me. I pretend to take it and then ask if I can go back and die at home. They refuse to let me, so then I confess that I never took the pill. I have no idea why I'd do that!

They make me take the pill. Then I have all these deep thoughts about death and dreams. I start thinking I'm damned either way. If I survive, it will prove that my lucid dreams are just brain things and there's nothing spiritual or metaphysical about them. But then I think maybe I'll die in the dream world and not the real world. I start wondering what would it mean to die in the dreamworld.

Well, I woke up very much alive. And I still have lucid dreams so I'm not dead in the dreamworld either. That's a relief!

Another day in Seven Mile Beach.....

My family had never returned my texts. I tried to tell myself they were just busy. But by now I was getting a bit concerned. I don't think I imagined anything bad had happened to them. What I thought was that they had decided they were mad at me. I often think people are mad at me. I'm delusional that way.

So, I thought they were mad and ignoring me...giving me some kind of silent treatment.

The park had internet in the office, but we had been avoiding it because it seemed to be a pain. It was two dollars for fifteen minutes. That's not a lot of money. I'm not that cheap. I just hate having to sit in the office. I feel weird. And I hate having a time limit like that. I feel so nervous and rushed.

But it came to the point that I needed to find out what the hell was going on with my family.

I went to the office and checked my email. No one seemed mad! They sent photos so I was able to see my nephew Javier for the first time! I think I emailed my dad and my brother-in-law. I gave more congratulations and asked if anyone had received our texts.

My memory of all this is a little fuzzy. I think what happened is later my dad sent me a test text message on my phone. I got it and responded. He got my response, but it ended up that he had never gotten my previous messages. I have no idea why. No other Texas family members got my texts either. I still don't know why that happened.

It was all a little hard on me. In these days, I don't think it's hard to be physically far away from those you love. If you have email and all that, it feels like they're right there with you. But when you can't connect and something huge is happening....well, I ended up feeling very far away. I think later that day I tried going on the Internet again. I was able to read my mail on American Online, but for some reason it wouldn't let me send emails out. I tried writing my sister (the new mom!) two or three times.

Yeah. That was frustrating.

Besides all that though it was a fairly okay day.

On the news, I heard about the floods in Queensland. People were trapped by croc-infested waters. They weren't given much attention though. Everyone's eyes and hearts were directed towards the fires in Victoria.

We spent time with our Cronulla neighbors. We all went to the little wet swampy area behind our cabins.



The kids looked at nature and played with mud.



Later we all went swimming together in the pool. The water was very cold, and so was the air. It wasn't exactly the type of situation that compelled you to go into the water. Tim and Mr. Cronulla didn't even attempt to go in. Mrs. Cronulla jumped in and actually hung out in the water for awhile. I managed to get my legs in the water. That's about it. I kept planning to go in further, but never got up enough nerve.

At the pool, Mr. Cronulla gave us their newspaper. He was done reading it and thought it would be best to pass it on. I thought that was very eco of him. There was an article about a pill that erased people's bad memories. That gave me a lot to think about. Would we be better off without our bad memories, or do bad memories help stop us from repeating our mistakes? My gut reaction was the pill is a huge mistake. I guess my spiritual beliefs play into that. I believe in the whole reincarnation thing....each life is a learning stepping stone. I think bad experiences teach us stuff and help our soul evolve. You know....what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

But then some things are TOO horrible. If someone was sexually tortured as a child, maybe it is best for them to lose that memory. I don't know.

Then there's the question....Without our memories, would we still be ourselves? Would we lose ourselves if we lost our bad memories? And also, where do you draw the line? What if people start wanting to erase the time they farted in front of their in-laws or the day their girlfriend dumped them.

What else happened that day? I'm looking at my notes.

I read Judy Blume's Sheila the Great to Jack. I read The Faraday Girls to myself.

Jack played with his Nintendo DS. Both he and Tim had started liking Sudoku.



We went into Gerringong to get ice-cream. They had a Scoops too. The woman who served us our ice-cream was very friendly.

I saw commercials for the Oscars; learned that Hugh Jackman would be hosting. It seemed with him, plus the whole Heath Ledger thing, this was turning out to be quite an Aussie event.

We took a walk on the beach and saw a lot of blue bottles. Tim talked about how Australian children are so adorable. I agreed. We love Australian accents period. But in children, it's absolutely delicious. Okay. But the cutest thing is probably an Australian child imitating an American accent. I don't think you can beat that in terms of cuteness. And Jack is pretty damn adorable when he tries to imitate an Aussie accent. Although yeah. I'm his mom. I think pretty much everything he does is adorable. The kid farts loud and I'm totally charmed.

On this day, or another day, we watched a show about surviving disasters. I'll just pretend we watched it this day. None of us will ever know if I'm wrong or right.

Anyway, the show talked about how many people die in disasters simply because they didn't do the right thing. Instead of making a quick exit, they sit there in disbelief and shock. Tim and I talked about this. I told him I'd totally be one of those people. When I'm scared, I freeze. I also find that I become unnaturally calm. I have this attitude of oh well. I might die, but there's nothing I can do about it. And that's probably good when the danger is more imagined than real. For example, I reacted that way when we were driving on the mountain, and this is how I react when there's strong turbulence on a plane.

If there was true danger to escape though, this reaction would be very counterproductive.

I decided now that I know all this, if I faced danger I would try to react better.

I also promised myself that for now on I'd actually pay attention to the safety video on the airplane. I always ignored those thinking if our plane crashes, we're all going to die. So, what's the point? But the show said that wasn't true. People do actually survive some plane crashes. And yeah. There was a recent one in America to prove that.

One of the most important lessons of the show was to listen to your children. They sometimes might know more than you, and can actually save your life. There was a great story about a British family visiting Thailand. The young daughter had just learned about Tsunamis at school. She saw the water on the beach looking quite funky and told her parents they needed to get out of there immediately. They had the good sense to listen to her. I had to wonder if my parents would have listened to me when I was a child. Would they have taken my warnings seriously or would they have teased me for being too dramatic? I also have to wonder if I'd take Jack's warnings seriously. I don't know. On one hand, he does get scared and overreacts a lot. On the other hand, he does do a lot of Internet research. The kid knows a lot. It wouldn't surprise me if he knew something one day that could save our lives.

I think in that case, it's not just the child who is the hero. Any adult, who is humble and reactive enough to take them seriously, is a hero as well.