Zebra Finch Dreams

I heard once that the zebra finch practises its song in its sleep to perfect it for the time it is awake. This fact has captivated me for a long while.  There was a time when I could not play enough school and kitchen and store.  I would devotedly go down in the basement and teach a classroom full of imaginary students (some obedient, many who were not) from 3 until supper day after day, I even kept records. I would prepare meals and make cash registers out of bread boxes.  All of these activities would thrill me and give me so much pleasure.  When I actually started to get up in front of real live students and finally got my hands on a real cash register in one of my first jobs, I started to grapple with how gruelling these activities can be.  Preparing meals continues and although, it is not without its pleasures, it is not always as fun as I thought it would be.  I think back to my first apartment and how there was a fleeting feeling of excitement that somehow my play kitchen had grown to 19 year old proportions but the expectations of what all of those activities had in store were all so drastically revised and the old thrill quickly slipped away.

Recently, unexpectedly, as I washed dishes no less, I realized that I barely remember what I daydreamed now would be like. I have that vague feeling you get when you wake up and only remember a glimmer of the dream you were having.  As busy as I am each day, occasionally, when everything is quiet,  I no longer have play scenarios to retreat to or daydreams to revisit.  I feel the need to spend some time daydreaming, not so that I can fill some of those rare idle moments, but to practise possibilities that I cannot even yet conceive of.  I need to dream, to perfect my song for when I am awake.


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