# of literary mags submitted to: 1
# of pages written (now that my novel is done, I’m just working on short stories and other projects): 0
Last night I dreamed that I was walking down a sidewalk and someone was calling my name. I stopped and looked around, but I couldn’t see anyone.
I looked left and right and all around, but still I couldn’t figure out who was calling me. Where was the voice coming from?
I woke up and went into the kitchen. As I was eating breakfast, Nikki said, “Eva, you were in my dream last night.”
“Really? What was I doing?”
“I dreamed that I saw you waiting at a bus stop, and I decided to take the bus with you so we could have girl-time. I was standing on a balcony above you, and I kept calling your name, but you couldn’t hear me.”
“I dreamed someone was calling my name but I couldn’t figure out who,” I said. “It must have been you.”
I had looked everywhere but up.
* * *
Today is All Souls Day – Dia de los Muertes. As a celebration, Nikki made a Hungarian feast to honor her Hungarian ancestors. And I asked my Ukranian tutee, Sergey, if his grandparents had any wise sayings that he’d like to share with me. He thought of one, and roughly translated it goes like this: Some people are looking for money but they find mushrooms and fish, and some people are looking for mushrooms and fish, and they find money.
What am I looking for exactly? It’s not money, but is it something as simple as mushrooms and fish? When I’m close to finding it, will I hear it calling me? Will I know where to look?
It’s amazing that I’m already beginning to doubt myself with writing. I wrote a novel and just last week sent it off to an agent, and already I’m wondering if I’m capable of ever writing anything again. I feel like I’ve been unproductive for the past few days, and I’m scared that I don’t have what it takes to be a writer.
* * *
Nikki and I had girl-time the other day, which, for us, meant reading more of Plato’s dialogue, “Meno,” and discussing it. We got to the part where Socrates says that all humans have an immortal soul, and because our soul has been around for forever and has been to hell and back, it already knows everything there is to know. So there is no such thing as learning, really. We are just remembering what our souls already know.
Today when my Algebra student forgot how to graph a line in slope-intercept form I said, “You already know it. You just have to remember.” Then I told him about Socrates’s theory about how the soul already knows everything. My student thought I was a little crazy.
But it’s a soothing notion. You don’t have to worry that you’re not capable – you already possess every kind of knowledge. You just have to listen and look for it within yourself. It’s this searching that’s the hard part.
So don’t forget to look up.