I had a dream of being in my mother’s kitchen. She was making pollo guisao, and I could smell the aroma of freshly blended herbs and spices. As I watched her prepare the food, I heard a sacred song I used to listen to years ago. The chorus played in a loop. Each time I heard this, it produced a familiar feeling that paradoxically revealed something new. The dream seemed to have lasted a significant amount of time, not in a lackadaisical, tiresome, and overdone sort of way. It was more like a fulfilling, comforting journey.
I very much looked forward to the next verse though it wasn’t the first time hearing it, and I couldn’t wait to enjoy my favorite meal, a dish that required a lot of preparation and a bit of magic (My mother never follows a recipe.). I felt such peace until I awoke and realized there was no song and no food on my stove. I was disappointed. I wanted the dream to be real. I wanted to travel back into that space of comfort.
For some time, I used to think the dream was nostalgic and somewhat despairing. In hindsight, my opinion or interpretation has changed. I discovered its many layers. The dream can serve as motivation to work for what you want, to never let go of the desires of your heart, even if the wanted outcome appears unattainable. Most importantly, it can be a reminder to enjoy the process regardless of how tedious, laborious, repetitive, or ordinary it may seem.
Writing, for me, is an amalgamation of elements and emotions. It’s therapeutic, frustrating at times, and incredibly fulfilling when the work in progress is complete or when the characters take over. It’s a mixing of ingredients, a magical adventure, a sacred act.