Dreams are not signs but I believe in some of those, too.
I dreamt last night that I was cooking with the male relatives on my father’s side of the family—an amalgam of uncles, half-uncles, old men, ancestors all gathered in an industrial Japanese dining room, a portion of it matted with tatami for special services. It was like a ryokan cafeteria but somehow homier.
I started by making harusame but it was all amok. I was boiling too many vermicelli noodles and they were overwhelming the small zaru I used to drain them. I felt the disdainful looks of my relatives as I struggled to impress them, but also felt the gentle touch of a pseudo-uncle who was cheering me on. In the dream, I wondered if the touch was inappropriate. I realized I was naked. There was nothing at all sexual about this dream, just so you know. I wondered why I was naked. I felt more like an animal than a person.
TW: animal cruelty
Of a sudden, one of the elders insisted on making turtle soup. He brought out four turtles. One mama turtle and three baby turtles. He insisted that the way to properly prepare for the soup was to have the mama turtle watch her young be cooked, to “excite” the mother before preparing her as a final protein to join her dead children.
I was so horrified I ran. I ran and now I was bundled in thick woolen clothes and hiding under a heavy futon. I made noises so I could stop hearing the whacks of the cleaver and shut my eyes tight to eliminate the image. I wanted to keep running.
I couldn’t escape the image in my head.
I fell asleep. I calmed down, woke and stood up and walked away. I walked inside an empty room. I walked toward a river. I walked toward a forest. I walked toward the sky. I walk toward the water. I walk toward the wood. I walk toward the air. I walk in directions. I hear only the wind in the leaves and I walk in directions. I keep walking.