I have a sleeping cat next to me, music playing, internet in my apartment (for the first time in a year and a half, making it easier to write this in my pajamas and in bed), and The Hobbit laying within arms reach (I am doing a re-read because let’s face it, you need to when the movie is out). It is utterly cold outside, but warm in here. My apartment has the small touches that make it wholly and completely mine, from the multi-colored owls to the fake flowers, the art my mom painted to the mismatched collection of pillows I have collected through the years. These details are what makes it cozy, comfy, warm in a different way that has nothing to do with temperature.
A collection of dream catchers hang above my bed. Years ago on a vacation (to some place, somewhere) I convinced my mom and dad that the perfect gift for the trip would be to get a dream catcher. I picked out a small turquoise one and hung it above my bed. The theory is that they will catch all nightmares, ghosts that haunt our sleep. A believer in mystical things, otherworldly and inexplicable acts, it was my hope that the tiny catcher would help create more restful sleep. Power of suggestion is just that, a power. That is why we have placebos, because if we convince ourselves long enough that something is good, that something does help, maybe we can trick our minds. (Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the placebo effect, but I do not discount true medicine and how it helps those ailing from terminal illness; I’ve seen too much and been around too much death to suggest otherwise.) It was my hope that the tiny catcher would help with the unease I was having drifting into sleep, to stop the nightmares that were haunting me, to give me a restful sleep. That was about ten years ago.
I now have eleven hanging above my headboard. Along with a small hand carved wooden box called a Dream Box. Everywhere I go I attempt to find and buy a dream catcher. I collected them from places ranging from Portland to Savannah, Chicago to Iowa City, Salt Lake City to San Francisco. They reflect more than my superstitions, they are more than hanging art, they represent places I have come to love, places I want to remember, places once called home and places I want to call home.