A few nights ago I dreamed I was arguing with a woman named Mary. No matter what I did, I was being judged. I woke up, fell back to sleep, and continued to have a yelling match with her. Next, I was standing outside on a hill watching a gigantic tornado funnel cloud heading directly towards me.
I ran around trying to warn people, but they were ignoring me. As the tornado hit, I found shelter under an overhanging cliff, because suddenly I managed to fly to a hilly forest.
In real life, Mary was a woman who took me into her home when I was 19 years old. Her daughter, my best friend from high school, knew that if somebody didn’t come into my life at that precise moment, I would likely not have survived to be 20. I lived with that family for 3 years.
I never argued with Mary. She cared about me when I didn’t care about me. One day she threw 15 bras on my bed and said, “Someday you’ll thank me for this.” She was right.
I’ve never seen a tornado. But I know something is going to happen. I know a dream like this means I’ll either take care of myself in an emergency, or I’m about to do something stupid. In all likelihood, I’ll do it on the Internet, so everyone can watch and make fun of me.
When you live on the Internet, you know you’ll die there too.
Jeffrey Zeldman wrote a strange, wonderful post the other day called How to Make Love To A Ghost. In his dream, ghosts were giving him instructions and advice, such as “Don’t make love to a ghost, even if she is your wife.”
Of his ghosts, he wrote:
“These messages were conveyed clearly, and with authority. Although I knew their origin, I was not afraid. So matter-of-fact was my acceptance that I began framing what I was learning within a normal workday context. Specifically, I realized that these messages made the perfect Tweets.
For while Twitter may reduce the immense possibilities of communication to single-line banalities of 140 characters or less, it is paradoxically the perfect vehicle for distilling and broadcasting profound, irrational truths, such as those the dead share with us while we dream.”
Interesting. I do this framing thing also.
An event, such as being stranded in a K-Mart parking lot in a broken down motor home in Virginia with 5 kids, a dog, a husband who desperately needed valium for his wife, in 105 degree weather, with no hope of a tow, had me writing an article on usability, navigation, being stuck, and getting lost, in my head and later on a computer. I never ran that article because remembering that summer vacation is on my “Top 5 Memories To Put in the Never Happened” file in my head.
Zeldman’s ghosts gave advice to “Fill your eyes with tears. That is how a ghost sees”. I likely would have used that for an analogy on web site accessibility, had it been my dream.
Speaking with angels, departed souls, ghosts and loved ones who have passed over are topics that have always fascinated me because I’ve already had experiences that clearly show we’re connected in mysterious ways.
The Internet is part of the experiment. I know I’m here. I know you’re there. But we can’t see each other. Does that mean we don’t exist?
I made my husband promise that if he goes first, he should yell to me the following words from the other side: “STOP STARING AT ME!”
I like signs.
The article that experience would inspire could easily be about breadcrumb navigation or web site authenticity and credibility.
Yes. I know. You’ve never read about article or blog writing inspiration like this before.
That’s because this is a blog that ignores the rules.
Life is too short.