The Spirit of Christmas and Santa Claus

Up end atom shaking the structured foundations of settled slumber to face the face of the day, meeting life head on into my future as is flows all around me. Good: morning. Carrying off where I left up and away to the real deal of sitting here writing and not drawing on my ping pong eggs, and getting these gifts finished catches my holiday spirit. Time is running on like a reindeer on a roof and I’ve gotta get to the chimney in time to catch the next flue home. My haste is seeing red and it soots me as fine as if Santa were here to do it for himself. So go ahead, suit up and join the festivities. The snow is thick upon the lens of my imagination, the air is crisp and clear as stars winkle and shine above, the night is open for adventure and my image laden sleigh waits at your view right by my fingertip dance. Hie on up and hold on tight, we’re taking to the sky for a magic-filled flight!

With a bell-jangling lurch forward, we start off and pick up speed, jostled to the hiss of the runners in the deeply piled snow, along the forest path as the trees begin to blur and suddenly there is smooth elevation and another burst of speed as the trees brush close and then are gone below us, their whitened caps looking softly sparkled in the glowing light of the gibbous winter moon. Up and on we fly, the fresh and cool air enlivening the ride, our thick and fluffy coverings keeping us as warm outside as our joy-filled hearts are inside. Speeding though we are, time seems to have stopped for the world below us, for it is clear to see that nothing moves but our shadow across the fields of velvet snow.

Suddenly the sleigh swerves and curves sharply down, like a rollercoaster, but without the stomach twisting centripetal force, and rushes toward a house with the speed of diving hawk!  Watch out! The roof angles are just even with the runners and we abruptly stop, with no momentum pull, safe and still. Whew!  I guess the driver knows what he’s doing! Now quick, up and out with the bag that is suddenly on your shoulder. Trudge  a few snow deep steps to the chimney, climb a leg up and then the other and whoosh! down like a waterfall to step forward and stand in the living room of an unfamiliar and quiet house. A lovely tree stands decorated in lights, ornaments and tinsel, and carefully wrapped gifts lie beneath its sheltering branches, waiting for the morrow and their discovery by eager eyes. Sling the sack down to the ground, open it up, reach in and pull out a brightly wrapped and ribboned box, lay it among the treasures under the tree and admire how it blends in. Then pull out another and another until the sack offers no more. Stand back and survey the scene, savoring the beautiful dream that unfettered giving gives. And look, on the table, a glass of milk, a cookie on a plate and a note. Smiling at such a cliché image, you step over, pick up the cookie, take a bite (chocolate chip!), pick up and read the letter. In a small child’s innocent handwriting it says, “Dear Santa, Thank you for whatever you brought me. I love you!” and that is all, no signature. Well, I guess you can figure out who it is, or how would you know to come here? Another quick smile and sip of milk, then picking up the not-quite-empty sack, you step to the fireplace and fill the stockings hung on the mantle. Toys and fruit, candy canes and chocolate, trinkets and treasures to bring smiles of delight! Again, step back and see how wonderful it looks, like a post card from the North Pole! Then, duck under the stockings and zip! you’re back on the roof, just putting your feet down into the snow outside the chimney. Toss the sack with a laugh to eager elfin hands, climb back up into the driver’s seat and, with a playful crack of your virtual whip, set off into the sky once more, where you will repeat variations of this mid-night visit untold numbers of times, all filling your heart with the hopeful magic of a fairy tale Christmas. And, as the last stocking in the last house is filled to its brim, and the last cookie and sip of milk has been taken, as the last look around puts a bright twinkle in your eye, a sense of accomplishment settles about the shoulders of your generous, gentle soul, a satisfied feeling of a good job well done, and you wish you could share THAT with all those who have been gifted this Christmas eve. A poignant smile and a shake of your head, then back you step toward this last fireplace, when,

 “…Santa?” a small voice rises from a shadowed hall, and a small child steps into the soft light of the tree. Her pajamas have pictures of dollies and teddy bears and she holds a blanket and rubs her eyes. She looks at you with tired, and somewhat trepidatious, admiration.

“Young lady, you are supposed to be asleep,” you gently respond, kneeling down to be more on her level of conversation.

“I hadda go to the baffroom …and then I came to see if you were here,” and here she brightens up, “And you are!” Her eyes grow as big as her smile, and you smile in return, open your arms and welcome her running into your loving hug. Well, this is a fine how-do-you-do, indeed! Your thoughts quickly try to recall the standard procedure for this sort of thing, but then you softly chuckle, kiss her on the head, stand and pick her up, carry her to a comfortable looking armchair, turn and sit with her safely ensconced in your lap.

“How would you like to hear a story?” you ask her.

“I doen hafta go back to bed?” her hopeful response.

“Not yet,” you assure her, “but we have to be quiet.”

“Okay!” she enthusiastically whispers and snuggles against your soft red suit.

“Well, once upon a time,” you begin… “there was a little girl, just like you,” and you spin a tale of fascination and wonder until, “… and she lived happily ever after,” gave your voice silence. You see the sleeping smile of this innocent young person, and the trust that they have for everything to be alright and you wish that you could share that wonderful feeling with everyone else as well. Ah, well, wishes indeed, indeed.

Gently standing and carrying the child to the passageway she came from, you set her down, kiss her sleepy head again and let her toddle off back to bed, where she will dream with all her heart that Santa Claus was there. You step back to the fireplace once more, hesitate for a moment as you have the desire to share this sweetly innocent young person’s view of the world:  to know only peace and love, to feel free from fear or hunger, to have everyone care for one another and act upon it. Such a wonderful reality to share with everyone in the world …but that would be too much to ask of Santa, that would be beyond the possibilities of his magic bag, that would be something even St. Nicholas couldn’t accomplish, and besides, he isn’t real anyway. Give a shake of your head to go with your sudden smile, step to the fireplace and whisk! you’re away up the chimney, out onto the roof, up into the sleigh and off into the night as the world below slowly starts to move once more. Your magic steeds are eager to get home, as are you, and there are no more stops to make, so they quickly dash away back to the north pole of dreams and fantasy, to fade in thought until next year when Christmastime calls them back to action.

And what would you say of Santa Claus and his fantasy activities? You have traveled in his sleigh, gone down chimneys, distributed gifts and had a little girl dreaming in your red suited lap. Do you see the wonderful magic of the season in the personification of this ‘jolly old elf?’ Is the spirit of Christmas viable and alive in your heart? Do you understand the underlying message that Christmastime brings, beyond the religion and without the commercialism? From a small child’s wide-eyed wonder to an old person’s heart-felt joy, the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus is always available to touch upon and share, for it is a simple concept that we can share with anyone at all, at any time. It is not the gift that matters, it is the giving.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, and THAT is the Real Deal.

Santa and Stephani 1982

Santa and Stephani 1982


Merry Ping Pong Christmas Stars!

Merry Ping Pong Christmas Stars!

Solstice Subjective

Sensory awareness, action, assessment, reaction and memory build the structures of our thoughts in regard to interaction with reality. The response alteration of situational circumstance is in direct correlation to the attention given to this interaction, the effect being variably graduated. Thus, this structure of memoried thought is imperfect, but it is OUR building (personalized, I to mine, you to yours), we live in it and no else can ever enter it. Some areas of this mental creation are more solid in memory than others, some areas are more viable to dwell within, and this has both positive and negative impact upon emotions. But these are ours and ours alone, the ultimate castle and keep, inviolate and personal beyond anything else we have. We exist within our mind full of memories, where the rooms of our past lie available, for the most part, for us to visit and face their reflections. This very evening, the longest night of the year, the first day of winter and the first snowfall of the year (establishing a new Chicago record for days without snow) holds poignant references in my regard and considerations. My Father’s birthday, my marriage anniversary and the anniversary of buying the house I am still living in all occurred on the twelve twenty-one noting of the winter solstice. Chill winds blow at my memories, but yet they keep me warm from the breeze.

Inspired options swarm the sway and play the way astray, giving rise and taking toll of the bell in the attic of my absent thoughts, peeling like old paint on the walls of sound concerns and audible reason. To due or not to do, that is the questing, whether it’s no blur in the mind to surf the slinging narrows of outer ages for tune, or just roll with the punches and get by the best we can. I take arms in a sea of troubles (how else could I swim?), and by supposing mend them.

Consider that done.

I am encouraged by the presence of this moment as I’m able to apply the energy needed to be creative and spontaneous. I find my intentions are in hot pursuit of direction to follow, taking every turn of events in stride and holding out for the next best thing to come along, keeping me abreast of the times and up to my armpits in confusion. Looking for a place to stand is difficult enough without have the added aspect of not being able to see much down past my chin, but I turn the other cheek and peek out of the corner of my eye, managing to figure out where we are by the time I transcribe it to the end of this sentence. There. Don’t you feel better now? I know I do, and if I know me I’ll probably write something about it, so pay attention and don’t wander off or you may miss the whole point of this post. See? So. Now what we have here is a filer to corroborate, to set the record of this moment (the writing/reading thing) in the proper place within the system, like rings on a tree stump, so that it can be available if a reassessment needs to be considered and core arbor rated against the original. With so many of these cross-cut sections to maintain, I have been appointed chief record keeper for this evening so that your visit can be as smooth as possible. Please do have a statement.

…well, while we wait for that, I’ll just continue along then, all right?  Tension coil spans junctures of mutual interface to face virtuality in the slowly crumbling moments of the day. Consideration and response, circling the wagons we fell off a while ago, gauge variations of intent toward a lesser degree of intensity while comfort adjusts (in these and other, more mundane considerations) as it can. The walls are more than memories, but conditions are set by prior actualities, and the rooms within these walls are all the same in their in(finite)differences. This then, is the hard ache to set to sleep, perchance to dream. Eye, there’s the rub, getting out of bed with a knuckle to my vision and a yawn to everything else. I put my arms down, blink open my eyes and look out the window. It snowed a bit last night, for the first time this season. I shake my head at the strange (lack of) weather this passed autumn, then go through the motions of dressing, and shuffle downstairs to get ready for my day. I pack my lunch and snacks into my bag, bundle into the jacket, grab my bags and head out the door into the inviting cold of an empty page. Perhaps, if you happen to read this, I’ll see you there, and if so I’ll be sure to mention it. Keep faith in the written word and I hope the solstice heralds a good new year for you. Catch you on the flip side…

Happy toes dance (unless, of course, they’re doing something else.)

Winter Wrapped

Winter Wrapped

It Was A Dark And Smarmy Night

It was a dark and smarmy night and all the buoys were floating around the campfire getting some shut-eye in the land of the blind, when the capstan got up and spun us a tail of windblown travel and adventure, taking us to places we’ve never seen, doing things we’d never imagined, sailing into a sharp eye-blue horizon. The breeze holding steady, the air crisp and clear, cutting through the day as along the defined plane of intersection between two mutually exclusive environments, we sail. With the lift of one and push of the other, our literary vessel pierces the time between now and tomorrow, holding forth substance where there is none to be had, and giving wondered thought to the depths, below and above, with bright enthusiasm. Our goal is not to reach that horizon, although it is only an arm stretch away, but to experience the facets of travel towards it. The touch of weather, the harsh of seas, the heat of unrelenting sun, the sultry cool from gentle breeze and a taste of experience won; the star lush nights of dreams come true, the waves rode hard in vigored joy, and all the day-to-days we’ll view within the bounds our fates employ.

We travel, each to their own journey, together and apart, filling the time with our lives and aging into our horizons, sailing the seas of experience and dream, becoming who we are today and who we will be tomorrow. I wish you pleasant travels and smooth sailing …at least for this endless moment, for who knows what the next will bring….

121912 Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

What You See Is What You Get

Loquacious indemnity rides me like a bronco bucking saddle tramp deriding the very steed he has become within the rodeo of life. Ride ‘em cow, boisterous in tensions and celebrating innocent angst, rife among the daily deeds dearly done upon the back of my travails. I step forward far enough that I am only half a step behind the leading edge of eternity found in the continual flow of whatever happens next, giving me cause to strive further toward being able to maintain the status quotient which divides what one gives from what one receives in this structured society. My artistic endeavors are pleasures to create and share, in hopes that they may bring wonder to the eye (that reads) and stimulus to the imagination (that sees) of those (such as yourself, as you read) who read the strangely constructed sculptures of words and images I create. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a word can provoke a thousand images. Picture that, if you will.

My ride has become the means for me to become the rider and back off this weary plan. I continue to plod my efforts in the various mediums I employ, fulfilling my vision ideas in bright and marvelous ways, amazing me with color, form, texture, motion, sinuous curves and hard cornered transitions splashing bright across the canvas display of your mind. And that’s just for the written word …the visuals tell their own story.

Vortal Locus

Vortal Locus

Do I Seem Dated?

121212 one two, one, two, one to one correspondence in one two part literary endeavor with the first straight at you. I turned sixty-two three days ago and I’m feeling pressure to create and accomplish. This written missive is an example of my answer to that need. I see that, from my immediate post-birthday viewpoint , this writing is one to grow on.



One to one to one to won two, unto a manifest endeavor put forth toward employing means of garnering the attentive faculties of a specific, or non-specific, endear mentality to convey counsel upon the bearer of those eyes (in whatever level they see) whose vision these words reads. This parallel universe (not alternative, just inquisitive) takes alignment within the strictures of traditional, annual assessment to find, behind the door I had just come through on my way to take a nap or something, there, in the slight shadow, was my youthful vitality curled up and gone to sleep. I reached over, scratched him behind his ear and gently gave him a nudge to wake him up. A warm vibration flowed into my hand and there was a tingling that spiraled up my arm and shoulders into my neck and head, filling my mind with light and visions of peaceful relaxation. I stood in trancelike wonder amid a thousand diamond sparkles (guitars cried merry), feeling that the universe was at my feet and all I needed to do was walk on out to fulfill my greatest dreams. And then, as if that was where I’d been the whole time, I was standing, looking at the floor behind the bathroom door, wondering if it needed sweeping. Life muddles me along from one ineptitude to the next, never keeping me far from realizing my potential, always right there for the having …but distance is a relative measure and the unknown limits of enablement lie closer yet to come. Age wears like a closet full of clothes that were once new and clean, but are now a bit dusty and out of style, yet they are still comfortable to wear in the echoing halls of memory. The rooms of my reader’s mind mine the sedimentary layers of rock hard thought, earthen dust borne deep in creative output of ageless stories from the distant past, and reform the inspired energies found therein to write them again in new and diffracted mode, adding to the tales all told in timeless measure to descendents beyond ken. To add more dust, that is the effort undertaken, (one way or another, you may entente to wonder) but that, like a singing alarm clock, is another story. The tick of my aging presence (in applying discernible energy applications of varied substance and expression) adds counterpoint to inspirationed efforts such that attentions are closer to the home of my creative drive as it is endlessly (herewith substantiated) found to be one to go on to one two won, too, unto one, to grow on.

Reading Room

Reading Room

Last Willing Test To Money

12-09-12  I’m putting this same post in all three of my blogs, because, hey, it’s my birthday and I’ll blog if I want to.

Ambivalence rocks me to the core, drowning my sorrows in a thirst for more insipid perspectives, as I abjure token repletion to the hard bitten truth of my skin deep irritations, my neglected seats of contort and relaxation and my need to define  and communicate, in lieu toward resigned decay and complacency. Symptoms of intentional focus are quickly attended to and disbursed among the wonders of the universe and imagination. What reflection can compose my substance as it eases into its berth effectioned moorings with the water levels getting low and the imagery all wet for the sinking? Yet I swim forward into the clear blue sea of the tomorrow, as every moment has its own day. I look to see who I am, where have I brought myself to within this life, in what direction am I traveling, how am I working toward my life’s goals and how can I help myself be a better person within the context of those around me, yet all I find are the shadows cast by that which lies yet up ahead and thus unclear. I move to the light of entropy and dream , not really sure which is holding sway over my attentions in the greater capacity, and starting to feel the strain of day to day existence as it is applied within the hierarchical confines of the society’s conditioned reflex. Philosophical maunderings muddle the already turgid flow of my evening inspirations, the chill of autumn’s wind washes its hand over the face of my days, causing me to bundle my dreams and keep them warm in the thoughts my heart holds when it sleeps. Perchance to dream, and the chance is given. It is the visionaries who read this dream who hold the dream come true, who see the light beyond the light and passed it beyond view in vision won by current effort spread across time and space with limits existing only outside the realm our immeasurable imagination can project. Coming soon to a literary communication device near you. Now, if only this can be directed to produce viable, steady and significant income then it’s all yours to have and to hold which would give me a break, and I wouldn’t mind the rest, for I am getting tired…. I’ll see you next year, whether I’m there (appropriately aged but with spare change to show for the spending) or not.

Follow the Light

Follow the Light

Comet Allez-Vous?

The piano music play of my keyboard words sets the tone and tempo of curious and interesting narration toward, on this particular evening, trying to figure out just what rhythm and tune holds this course discourse, with a finger to the eye and a mind at each end, listening to the voice of writing as a creative arts endeavor in the composing, arranging and scoring of the piano music play. I enjoy circles, they always have a point to get to further up ahead, so you don’t have to be satisfied with what is written such that it turns left at the next corner, and continues down the long stretch of dusty road offered before your travelling eyes. The sun has been warm and rather bright, but the strong breeze is refreshing as it pushes and plays against your face and hair. You goal is still miles ahead, but you are cruising in comfort and style, listening to old jazz music on the radio, slowly nodding your head in easy tempo and smiling into the wind. The few trees are tall and green, the grassy fields between them dance in swirling, turbulent, playful games of tag with the quick summer air, looking like the rolling surface on an unsettled sea.  Here and there white-caps clap and splash, sending spray to your face and refreshing your smile as your vessel rollicks in the wash it is plowing through. A sudden finger of liquid spirals up a few yards to the starboard side, twisting and writhing high and higher, growing thicker until it towers over you like a serpent climbing to the sky. There is a saddle strapped to its back and you quickly climb up to set yourself down, find the stirrups, gather the reins and kick this eager waterspout creature up into the waiting heights, pulling free of the colors of earth, riding a whipsaw steed into the coruscation of starry skied night. Comets flash and fly along side, giving challenge to speed and grace. You laugh and kick your heels hard into the side of your mount, sending sparks flying and turning it into a silver sparkled shooting star which spins, loops and outruns all the others in a flashing dance of twisting light in the steady tempo rhythm of the ever present piano music play of my keyboard words…

Wild Ride

Wild Ride

Err A Pair and Take These Words

This last written sentence comes first, but is thus mistaken as being the forerunner to and not the foretold of a creative writing effort wandering out of control and into your errant, reading eyes, thus giving title affirmative hold, ere finding substantiation in pronounced ploy. Later on, near the start of this next completed sentence, a slight pause to consider how to carry forth ensues, followed by a quick reference back to the beginning before leaping forward like the simile of a small-talk smile, and eventually, without further ado other than an unnecessary descriptive flourish, everything is finally summed up in the overall conclusion which begins in a straightforward manner and then commences to lose control in pushing to following its own lead further along until it manages to become the completed sentence referenced at its beginning, earlier on. Conditioned reference continues along this line as an aspect of mutual consideration regarding the intention read heretofore herein clear in the wild blue yonder of sharp edged clouds seamed crisp against the sigh-blue sky of a day that passes into night and sleeps in the silence of the moment. Variations clear the heir apparent and bequeath immortality (as far as we can see) to the wind-like action of the written word, caught in the air appearent of interpretation and consideration. Etymological entropy, perspicacious insight, intuitive realizations, surreal communication. What: fun.

An Arch Double Take

An Arch Double Take

Back Where I Came From

 I had a random incident unexpectedly prompt me to figure out the correct combination of name and password to give me access to my old Blogger account. I’m back on and running with that blog, too. Cool! I was posting stories and longer stuff over there, so I suppose I’ll maintain that direction. If you haven’t read any of it and would like to, I’d recommend going back to the first entries and working forward as I serialized a couple longer stories and that is how they should be read. The link is

And that will take you to the most current (today, just before this writing) entry. The first Entry (the lone one 2008) is Dianne’s introduction and then my entries start in 2009, with the oldest scrolled down at the bottom of each month. A bit of a pain to have to scroll down then find the start, but that’s the way the entries, and stories, are laid out. I’ve tried to figure how to stack the entries oldest first, but haven’t been successful.

If you make the effort to click over and read, I thank you very much! I always appreciate appreciation, for that is one of an Artist’s rewards!

Oh… there is at least one link on the 2008 that is no longer valid. Our first website, gone but still remembered. And the cross/angel photos are one style in our line of bookmarks. Oops… I just found the link to our second, yet no less defunctioned, website, which was for Into Focus Arts, another of our business ideas. It was (and still is) a good idea, even if the site didn’t pan out. Blog on. (Go Zazzle!)

So, I am back where I came from (having left quite involuntarily) in this blogging endeavor, and it is nice to stretch my mind a bit in that neighborhood.

The Other Door

The Other Door

I Want a Clark’s Bar

Socializing in the evening with a friend, we visited Clark’s Lounge in Beach Park, IL, and I took notes. Cleaned up a bit I lay them down. No apologies necessary, none taken.

11-30-12 into December

Floating the lights, touching deep into the motion of your heartfelt songs. I ride the dream woven view and enjoy time with the lights thus enjoined. I remember the warmth of a summer day smile shining in the bright blue sky of your loving eyes. Always and forever, each moment fresh and new, I find my dreams have all come true in the warm embrace of knowing you.

If I were to bind your eyes to a single photon, what would you think of the noise it cannot make?

A spell of transition holds the energy directive, entertainment realizes alternative venue and a different kind of light shines the culture defining aspect of its own programmed , and limited, view upon my creative efforts. Observation wall. Motion, in so many attentioned smiles, fills the parameter aspects of this moment of night. A sectioned time of travail in sequence and tribulation to the almighty collar has terminated this evening, and the general populace is granted respite from their daily labors. A pair of days (pare-a-daze) holds stead in broad action options, choice leading to chance and following the dictates of (impulsive) reason like a fish pushing upstream in the turbulent river of life. The next segment of financial toil yet labors under wraps in weight for the heavy hand of Monday. But tonight’s festive mood rains supreme for the illusory moment and gives dance to the songs we sing in our hearts, the band easing this along quite nicely. I feel the sway, I share the harmony, I hold my own dreams in comparison to the music pouring from the heart , hand and voice centered on the stage of focus, just as everyone else here does.

Is there a potential to this moment beyond any other possibility? What one eye sees another eye reflects in the view of an occupational dreamer.

Multi-leveled energies stack each moment upon the base foundation of the previous moment, yet totally separate in effect as the basis for the next.

Play, my stroking pen. (Play, Maestro: King Pen) And so it is written off as a song and dance routine Friday night at Clark’s, with the music hard driving harmonized into the flash of lights, figures and eyes, all moving to the groove of the evening. The songs cradled the mood like a trusted friend, letting the smiles flow free as conversation splashed among the clattered bottles and tilted brews. Togetherness is a powerful word that holds the world in its shine, and that shine sparkle-showered this festive crowd like a shooting star sky, even touching upon atavistic tribal unity, in common cause for the fun and entertainment of all. The place was rockin’.

If there were no flowers

                I wouldn’t notice it at all

If there wasn’t any music

                I wouldn’t miss its seductive call

If mountains were to disappear

                I wouldn’t miss the lovely view,

For my beauty and my song of life

                Is the joy I get from loving you (Country-type songs inspire the like)

A vibrant smile of light manifests away from constellationed periphery into focus and attention, giving query as to what you are reading here while I sat writing it. I described yourself to her and was informed of kindred ambitions (mine, not yours), the stories of a lifetime all waiting to be told for those who would read if only they were written. Yet hope lies not lightly across the structure of this sentence, giving identity to what is needed but still gently pointing out that the actual act of writing puts for great strides toward something being written. Introductions found the situation to accompanied Friday night faces, shining their own light into the forthcoming weekend, and a reach from eyes to hands in gestured introduction and greeting was paired. Mornamorations!

A line of transition leads to the music as it vibrates on the floor of consciousness and feet, in the solid stepping night.

It’s all about dreams and how we channel energy toward achieving them, or yield to inaction and let them remain no more than dreams. Some people are content to watch their dreams across their span of  life like pictures in a box on the wall, letting themselves be entertained into lethargy and complacence. Some people put action to their dreams and realize that each moment working towards their fulfillment is a dream come true unto itself. Doing is believing. To be able to share the fruits of this effort in heart-driven music is a privilege and inspiration, giving energy to my own muse in spreading the light of creativity. The song of the artist well played, write on.

The passions of creativity run deep in the music of this night, when hard work given time and again enables the stories of a heart to share song with another.

America is lost in the bars and music halls of small towns found in dreams of long ago, across the beautiful lawn on the other side of the fence we call memory. Friends are one of the threads from which we weave the fabric of our lives. Fare thee well.

Friday Night Dreams

Friday Night Dreams