Even Larks and Katydids

“No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream.”
 – Shirley Jackson
from The Haunting of Hill House

I had a friend and roommate in college, who liked to take a quiet break from time to time and be alone and think. He called it, “taking a journey within,” or something like that. He was a very thoughtful young man, attentive to the states of his consciousness.

I don’t know what he daydreamed about, because he seemed to have set a boundary there, which I respected. If he were with us still in what we call being alive, I would ask him. We would both be men well into the sparser woods of middle age, with fewer reservations. And we would have been friends for many more years by now. So he might tell me.

On those rare occasions when I can get my monkey mind to stop jabbering and throwing metaphorical poo, I take such journeys myself. Into memory, mostly: Walking down a certain dark street in a city in which the rain has just stopped, I peer into the dim-lit shop windows where memories are kept. I open the door, a bell tied to the door frame rings, and perhaps I step through into childhood.

If that doesn’t work, being a writer I can just make sh*t up. Come to think of it, my little destinations all wind up being stories and poems.

Where do you go, on your journeys within? If you don’t want to share, I understand. But I think the interior life is fascinating, and fun to explore. Sometimes you meet old friends.