Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This is Very Strange

I've been sort of tired this week. Not really sure why. Jet lag? It's been 8 or 9 days so it seems like I should be pretty over that by now.

Last night I had a quiet night in. After cooking dinner I was just sitting in the front room writing, listening to some nice music, and enjoying the sunset over the bay. And sometime during that, I fell asleep.

I had a bunch of dreams. All of them bizarre. And none of them made much sense. But in the dreams I caught distorted glimpses of my life. Wandering through a fantasy-like version of Salt Lake City. Visiting friends who were either much older or much younger than they have ever been during the course of my knowing them. Sitting in a musty bookstore in Moscow Russia while the sounds of a tropical typhoon raged on outside.

And then hundreds of passing faces, including those I've known long and well, those I've known briefly and shallowly, and those I've known briefly but deeply. I turned corners in a maze and saw these faces as I did. And I was so aware that which turns I made determined which faces I saw. But I didn't know what any of the turns meant so I just made my decisions at random.

I woke up from this, my life feeling more happenstance and chaotic than I can ever really remember it feeling. And suddenly I wasn't sure if I had been in control of my big life decisions or if my big life decisions had always had control over me.

Daniel was sitting at a table painting when I woke up and I could hear a tropical rain storm raging on outside. He's trying to make it big as an artist this week, which I'm being very supportive of.

When someone is dazed and confused and still partly asleep, everything seems like a bigger deal to that person. And, still laying on the couch with my eyes only half open, when I saw him sitting there surrounded by his art supplies, I blurted out exactly what I was thinking.

"It is very strange that you are in Palau with me."

Daniel gave me a look like he had never thought about that before and then shrugged his shoulders and said, "yeah. I guess it is." And he went back to painting.

It sometimes seems like Daniel and I have known one another for all our lives. And sometimes I forget that we didn't grow up as brothers, fighting over batman figurines, or whatever it is brothers fight over.

But we haven't known each other for very long. Not even 2 years, actually. Daniel and I became friends in October of 2011, just after we both moved to the same neighborhood in Salt Lake City. Neither of us really had any friends in the area. Both of us were desperate to make friends. And so we did. With each other. And then with many others that we have both missed dearly since leaving that wonderful city.

Our friendship developed quickly and almost immediately it seemed like I had known him all my life. Six or so months after we became friends, I contemplated my move to Palau. Daniel graduated from college at that time and was unsatisfied with his job. He was looking for any excuse to head off to somewhere in the world, especially somewhere tropical. I told him he was welcome to join me, that I hoped he would join me, and that since the court would pay for my apartment, he had a free place to stay for as long as he wanted.

The next thing I knew, we were both shoving all of our things into a storage unit, into Bob and Cathie's house, and into a number of other places, including 2 dozen boxes that we shipped to the other side of the world. And then, suddenly, we were in Palau, killing bugs the size of our heads, only one year after becoming friends.

Waking up on that couch to "art night" yesterday evening it was like I didn't realize Daniel was in Palau until that exact moment. And nothing ever seemed stranger to me than that did right then.

And I got to thinking about how quickly life can evolve at times if we just let it evolve. Or make it evolve, and keep our fear of change from blocking amazing experiences. I almost did let my fears block me from moving to Palau and having this experience one year ago. Because all along a loud voice inside of me screamed at me to stop.

Take that thing out of that box. Put it back on the shelf. Write to those people in Palau and tell them you changed your mind. Let Daniel know that you appreciate the support but that he would probably be better off not wandering into the unknown with someone who is still basically unknown.

But all along there was another voice, who fortunately is often more persuasive, telling me to take a deep breath.

Let go of the comfortable and embrace the strange and the change. Because every experience you've had in your adult life that made you stronger required you to choose to be uncomfortable.

I wandered off to bed after that and had another long series of dreams, this time, mostly about art night.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. I understand how things like this can feel... I think we all need a Daniel in our life. He's pretty great, hold on to him. ;)

  2. THIS is why I read your blog. The funny, too. But watching you (grow? share more?) say what so many of us think -- it's good, Eli.

  3. I like this. We all are going through different stages of change and for me, it's nice to see that I'm not the only one. You rock Eli, and everything will work out perfectly for you!

  4. I am pretty new to your blog. I went all the way to the beginning and read your first post to your last. I took me a little while because i do have a little bit of a life.
    You are a great writer, and very funny. I thoroughly enjoy your funny posts. When I'm having a rough day, which seems pretty often these days, i come here and you put a smile on my face. So thank you for that.
    But more than that, I love when you share with us about how your feeling and the hard times that you are going through. It helps me. It makes me think about my situation. And it gives me, not only hope, but strength that i can get through these things. So, thank you again.

    It seems that you have a great support system, so I'm sure you will figure things out.

    I will be a regular here now. You're more insightful than Dr. Phil.


    1. So glad I'm not the only one who does that.

  5. I was wondering if your serious side would show eventually. I like it too. Thanks for sharing yourself with us E.

  6. How did you feel in your dream? Lost, scared? Curious? Calm? Sounded to me like you were calm.
    Remember, "not all those who wander are lost."

  7. I love this: "Let go of the comfortable and embrace the strange and the change. Because every experience you've had in your adult life that made you stronger required you to choose to be uncomfortable." Thanks, Eli.

  8. I can't decide whether you should marry Jolyn or Daniel. It's a back and forth every time I read the blog.

    1. Team Daniel.

    2. I'm not sure whether to laugh really hard at this, or think you guys are extremely creepy, and turning this into the Hunger Games... Capitol people. Ugh.

  9. I am with Anonymous, Jolyn and Daniel both seem so wonderful! I really love you're stories and you're friends, and stories with your friends.

  10. Will Daniel let you spotlight his art work for one of your posts? A fully supportive friend would try and get his art shown everywhere. :)

  11. That sounds awesome! I actually had an experience recently where I was doing something (awarding contestants at a local Special Olympics) exactly as a dream I had a couple years ago. Very strange. Anyway one of my best friends told me that was because I was doing the right thing. Living the dream I suppose. I hope this is universal and so applys to you too.

  12. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Thanks for sharing, Eli.

    Your post helped me make a major life decision tonite.