“When you go on a trip, in your dreams you will still be home. Then after you’ve come home you’ll dream of where you were. It’s a kind of jet lag of the unconscious.”
- Barbara Kingsolver (from Animal Dreams)
Sometimes I am amazed by synchronicity. Just last week I came across a poem I had written back in 1985. Usually my poems do not rhyme. Rhyme fits in well with the 19th century and Hallmark Cards, but is not a scheme that I routinely choose. “Threnody Praise,” however, was one of those poems that came to me insisting upon rhyme and meter. The background for this poem is that I had spent two wonderful years teaching English in Hong Kong. While I was there, there were a few occasions in which I had vivid dreams of life back in the USA. Then when I returned home, I had many dreams of being back in Hong Kong. Sometimes I will still have a dream in which I hop on a bus and travel over the hill and across a bridge to arrive in Hong Kong – always a great dream!
So here comes the synchronicity part: reading another blog, I found the quote from Barbara Kingsolver’s 1991 book, Animal Dreams. She seems to be commenting on the very phenomenon that I was experiencing. So here is the poem. I hope you like it.
On a warm night in China
I saw the streets of Nevada -
Saw a breakfast cafe in early morning light.
And the hint of brewed coffee was such a delight.
Now I am back in the houses of the West.
Sometimes at night when I lie down to rest,
The sights and the smells of the crowded East
Fill my dreams when I suspect it the least.
In the heat of the race a child appears,
Silently pointing to what I once held dear.
And in the stillness of winter, sometimes it seems
That the spring of times past threatens future dreams.
Memory can be a joy or a dirge,
But remembrance allows my presence to merge
Songs of the past with hopes of the heart,
Weaving the being of a wandering bard.