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Veronica Varlow
  -  Uncategorized   -  In an Octopus’ Garden

Wisdom Tooth
I can already tell you that this will be a long journal entry, even though barely one sentence has been written. But as I wipe the sleep from my eyes and sit here to record my thoughts and my dream from last night, I feel compelled to do the process justice and let everything swimming in my head to go free in words on this page.
It all started with last night, when Burke and I were going to see a movie, and I – in tour mode and still not quite knowing what day it is, read the times for our movies wrong, thinking it was Saturday and not Sunday. So when we arrived, our movie was already finished, so instead we saw an indie film called Sugar.
Now, for those of you who wish to see Sugar, please skip these next nasty details…
Basically, Sugar is about this poor guy from the Dominican Republic who has dreams of getting in the major leagues of baseball and finally gets drafted for spring training. As a viewer, I could feel myself getting excited for this very likeable character getting the chance to achieve his dreams.
Over the course of the film, his friends get cut from the league, and he becomes isolated and disenchanted. At one point, feeling like he has hit a slump, he jumps on a bus and leaves the team completely. He feels like he isn’t good enough after all. He later tells another character he wanted to leave before they got a chance to cut him from the team. He then goes to New York City where he finds work in a diner somewhere and lives in a dirty motel. At the end, he reunites with a few of his friends from the Dominican Republic and other people who were in the leagues at one point. They play for fun at a small baseball park. Which could be nice and everything…but the very last shot is him staring off sadly, wondering what would have become of him if he kept with his dream. Then it is resolved, for a moment he smiles and that’s it.
I left the theater with my heart twisted in knots.
It was very hard for me to see this film.
As some of you who have read this journal know, it was quite a leap of faith for me to decide to go for my dreams. I feel extremely lucky that so many wonderful things have happened and I am constantly working to make more good things happen. I definitely know the feeling that the main character of the film felt, wanting to give up. There was a period in my life several years ago where I was terrified to truly be me, get out there and do what I want to do. Fear just seized me to a point where I couldn’t move forward. With the rottwelier attack, I got a second chance at living the life that I always wanted. And I have taken that chance and run with all my might. That is something I am grateful for everyday.
I found myself desperately hoping the main character would call his team and they would take him back and he would come back more victorious than ever, or when that didn’t happen, I found myself hoping that a major scout for the Yankees would see him playing in the small field and want to recruit him. But none of these things happened and the movie ended.
Riding home in the dark through winding mountain roads, I thought a lot about what was really bothering me. And it’s simple really….I hate when the weight of the world wins. That’s why “world domination” has been my favorite two words in the English language for so long – it means more to me than just a cute phrase…it means that the world tried to bury us under its weight and instead we made the world our bitch.
Many of the people who I am close with are on this same path….the path of the dreamers and the underdogs….who rise up to be the best that they can be, to share their beauty with the world and to make this whole life a better thing to live. It is a hard road sometimes, there are down times and up times for all of us. I have been inspired by the chances that some of my friends have taken and I have been saddened when things didn’t work out perfectly. One thing I know is for sure – is that we are all in this together. When one of us achieves a dream, it is a win for us all, and we stick together through the rough patches to encourage each other.
To see a film where the underdog rises up for a moment to taste it and lets the world beat him away from his dream just ripped my heart out. Only because I know that could have been me. I was confused by the message the film was giving.
And then I couldn’t sleep. I felt restless, I wanted to just pack everything up and drive. And then finally, when sleep was settling in – I asked out loud for a good dream or a way to make the night go by so quickly that the dawn would come soon.
And then, luckily – a dream formed.
In my dream, there were doors that I was going into that were covered with spider webs. For me, spiders are good luck and I saw this as a lucky sign. I started to bend my body to get through the doors to not disturb their elaborate webs. Then suddenly….two legs were on me around my shoulders and touched at my heart. I couldn’t see what was on me, but assumed it was probably a big spider. Its legs were almost the size of my own arm and for a moment I was terrified, but tried to keep calm so it wouldn’t bite me.
I put my hands up to its legs at my shoulder and squeezed them in a reassuring way. And I was overcome with a feeling of peace and that everything would be fine which was radiated by this creature that had attached itself to my shoulders.
Someone came by and I asked them what was on me, and they were shocked and amazed…it was a baby octopus they told me. Its head was at the top of my back and its two arms were around my shoulders to my heart and the rest of its arms were wrapped around my rib cage. Through the octopus’ arms, I could feel some kind of magic seeping into my heart. This creature was full of goodness and happiness and was passing it on to me.
I would fill up a large bathtub with cold water (this was a big deal for me because I hate cold water, but it was worth it to keep my friend the octopus alive) and I would submerse both of us in this deep, deep bathtub so that we were both underwater and we would feel better instantly.
Though we never spoke, this octopus and I had an amazing friendship bond in the dream. It was like meeting a twin soul. At one point, someone said that I was lucky to be chosen by the octopus and I knew that this creature was there to reassure me that all of my dreams would come true. It was deeply touching to me, our friendship, and something beyond what my words here can describe.
I woke up and immediately thought about Ringo Starr’s song, “Octopus’ Garden”. I remember reading that he was having a difficult time with the Beatles and actually walked out of the recording sessions for the White Album (oddly similar to the situation of the main character in the plot last night) – and while he went on a boat ride to get away… the ship’s captain told him that octopuses would go around the bottom of the ocean collecting shiny glass and stones to put in front of their caves like a garden. This inspired Ringo so much, that he went back with a song that ended up being a huge hit for the Beatles and everything was resolved (exactly how I wish the movie would have ended last night).
It is interesting to note that the Ringo Starr did his first vocal recording for Octopus’ Garden on the day of my birthday – April 29.
So his octopus was an inspiration to his dreams and so was mine…..
Thank you, Beautiful Creature from under the sea, for coming to me in dreams and letting me know that the Dreamers will indeed win, the underdogs will triumph and the world will be a better place for all…..
There will be naysayers on our course, and there will be obstacles, but no matter, all good dreams are worth the work – take my hand and don’t let the bastards get you down. We may not be able to see a clear path with our eyes, but we can navigate it flawlessly with our hearts. We’ve got more fight than anyone. We know the way…..
“I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade
He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been
In his octopus’ garden in the shade
I’d ask my friends to come and see
An octopus’ garden with me
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade.
We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus’ garden near a cave
We would sing and dance around
because we know we can’t be found
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade
We would shout and swim about
The coral that lies beneath the waves
(Lies beneath the ocean waves)
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
Knowing they’re happy and they’re safe
(Happy and they’re safe)
We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden with you.”