Dreaming Time is Here

After profound grief winds down, there should be a more noble state than the period of disgruntlement and dissatisfaction I am now experiencing. It’s possible this dissatisfaction is a precursor to taking action as some people have suggested, but the truth is, I still have no idea what action to take. I have no real dreams, no list of wants left unfulfilled, no idea of where to go with my life.

To be honest, I can’t go anywhere, not yet. I am still looking after my 96-year-old father, which limits me to some extent, yet at the same time offers me enough freedom to roam the nearby desert, to indulge myself in small ways, to dream.

One benefit of having let myself feel every cyclonic and cyclic aspect of my grief is that I have experienced the worst it can throw at me (at least I presume I have), so I don’t have to keep busy to prevent myself from thinking. I am free to let my mind roam without fear of where it will take me. Sometimes I think of where I’d like to travel, what I’d like to do, what I’d like to be. Other times, I let the cool desert winds blow all thoughts out of my head and wait to see what flows back to me.

Someday I will travel. Someday I will finish my poor work-in-pause. Someday I will set up my barbells. Someday I will . . .

But today, now, I am content to let the thoughts flow, dreaming up possibilities, like a child, with no regard to probability.

I am in no shape to trek the length of the Pacific Crest Trail and yet I can dream and perhaps one day I will hike a small part of it. I don’t have the knees for running anymore, yet I can still dream of the freedom it once gave me. I am basically a hermit, yet I can dream of making friends and charming people wherever I go.

Perhaps fantasizing is a more noble state to follow the waning of profound grief than disgruntlement. Or not. Either way, dreaming time is here.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

10 Responses to “Dreaming Time is Here”

  1. Holly Bonville Says:

    I was just saying to a friend yesterday that I am having second thoughts about leaving Northern Vermont. It is so beautiful here and I love it – in the summer. The winters are horrible and very lonely as I have no social life and pretty much spend the whole winter closed up indoors alone. I do have somewhat of a social life in the summer thru my volunteer work, it keeps me pretty busy, along with my shop, and this year all the home construction/repair projects.
    One idea that keeps popping into my head is when I finally sell this place is to just get rid of all my stuff, buy a small motor home or tag along, and just drive. But that will be very lonely too. I don’t have the outgoing personality that would make that whole thing easier.
    I still don’t know what to do.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Every place has terrible seasons. The winters are mild here, but the summers are excruciating. 107 degrees. Maybe someday you will become a snowbird, traveling to warmer climes for the winter and returning to Vermont for the summer.

      I don’t see how to circumvent the loneliness. Even if we made friends easily, there would still be long lonely stretches where no one was around.

  2. Kathy Says:

    A “work-in-pause” – love that!

  3. knightofswords Says:

    Perhaps, as some philosophers would suggest, you are in the precise place where you need to be, perchance to dream or discover secrets or to “stumble upon” the very thing you want to do next.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      For a while, I used that as a daily affirmation, “I am where I am supposed to be.” Maybe I should get back to saying it so I will again believe it.

  4. Carol Says:

    Dreaming is okay, but doing is more satisfying. What about your ‘work-in-pause’? What’s keeping you from working on it?

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Been thinking about your question. I have a lot of excuses of why I’m not working on my WIP, but mostly it comes down to disinclination. I did print out what I have so far. So many things have happened since I started it — my mother’s death, Jeff’s death, my father’s decline, that I might not even be the same writer I was. Will be interesting to see if the book still holds up.

      • Carol Says:

        “Disinclination” is a good word! It infers the freedom to choose to write or choose not to write, unlike “blocked”, which suggests one can’t write. Whether you continue with the story that is paused or decide to start something new, I hope you’ll soon find your inclination again. Your talent is significant and it’s a shame to leave it unused.

  5. The Gift is in the Preparation | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] talking about the Pacific Crest Trail for so many years — four-and-a-half years since my first mention of the PCT, four years since my first hike on the trail — but until this very year, I never actually […]

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