Clothes Make the Woman?

My first dream of the New Year is a textbook study in letting go of the old self and trying to find the new one. I won’t give you all the gory details, but it involved having no clothes on, bleeding profusely out of my ‘whatever’ after having something surgically removed from my body, and frantically trying to find a place called ‘ Fusion Target’ to buy some clothes so I wouldn’t show up at my post-surgical doctor’s appointment completely naked. Oh, wait, I was wearing a Target bag. But it wasn’t covering much. In these kinds of dreams everything goes wrong and there is a great deal of frustration. In my dream I was also trying to get around on some kind of small sled-like thing that reminds me very much of the cafeteria trays we used to go sledding on in college.  Oh, how Carl Jung would have loved to get hold of all those archetypes! Fabulous. I could hardly wait to wake up.

Stunning vases at the museum of glass in Tacoma, right down the street.

This dream came after a pretty wonderful day of ‘fusion’ living that went better than expected. (See what I did there?) We’ve moved out of our house, but we had been helping the kids get settled and prepare for a New Year’s Eve party at their new digs. We have been marveling at the creative way they have used the space. The garage is now an extra living space, complete with a sofa that won’t fit in the house, lights, a table for ping pong (Ok, beer pong. Have it your way.), and a heater. It’s actually pretty awesome. We stopped by in the middle of the day to give our dog some love and say ‘Happy New Year, Enjoy Your Party’.  Then we went back to the marina because we had our own plans for celebrating.

Now that we live within walking distance of downtown Tacoma, we’re committed to getting out and about and enjoying what this little city has to offer. It’s part of our ‘live like a cruiser’ identity shift. In this case, in spite of my dream of no clothes,  the clothing needs are simple: it’s bloody cold so layers of wool and down are the best options. I’ll remember that in my next ‘identity loss’ dream. Being naked in dreams is right up there with being chased by invisible monsters when it comes to dream discomfort. I’d say, ‘no, thanks’ to all that, but we all have to be reborn sometime. And that generally requires a change of clothing.

Blue footed boobies! Like they have on the Galapagos Islands! Like we have on our boat logo!

Every year Tacoma puts on a big New Year’s celebration called ‘First Night‘.  It’s ‘family friendly’, meaning all the acts are appropriate for children and middle aged people who just want to be entertained. There is music, performance art, fire juggling, food, the world’s longest game of musical chairs ‘in Tacoma’, and demonstrations of one kind and another. The Museum of Glass is open for free during the day.

In all the years we’ve lived here, we’ve never attended because things like having to drive in and find parking and be in enormous crowds of people seem to get in our way. We gave up big events in Seattle years ago because the irritation/fun quotient became way out of whack. I mean, we still go to the Boat Show in Seattle, but that’s almost mandatory. I’m not saying we actually enjoy it.  Living in the marina, all these good things are within walking distance, even in the cold of winter. We’re practicing being cruisers and saying ‘yes’ to new experiences. So we went. And it was fabulous.

This octopus, from the In the Deep exhibit.

If you haven’t visited Tacoma’s Museum of Glass, you don’t know what you are missing. Right now there is an exhibit called ‘Into the Deep’ where artists have created sea creatures from glass. But the star of this museum is the hot shop, especially when it’s snowing outside. The museum staff artists spend all day every day making beautiful glass art and supporting the work of visiting glass artists from around the world. Watching the artists at work is mesmerizing fun.

After dinner on the boat, we walked up to the theater district in Tacoma to enjoy the festivities. Tacoma has kind of a gritty, dystopian steam-punky vibe that is great fun. The energy of the crowd of about 20,000 people was just right. There were enough people to make the whole thing feel festive, but not so many that it was terrifying/irritating. We strolled from venue to venue, taking in music and art, deciding not to stand in line for over an hour for a donut from the Lakewood House of Donuts, wondering why the protestor for Jesus was advertising hate and fear rather than love, and generally mingling with the natives and having a grand time.

2016 Effigy Basket. Insert hopes and dreams for 2017 here.

This year, for the first time in many, we stayed up to kick the previous year to the curb with relief and welcome in the new baby year. Tacoma artists had built an effigy of 2016 in the form of a basket made of strong paper and sticks. We added our hopes and dreams for 2017 to the basket; written on small cards and placed carefully inside with hundreds of others. In the Chinese Zodiac, 2017 is the year of the Rooster. I’ll let you make what you will of that. But roosters…strutting, crowing, fighting, puffing themselves up to look large…go ahead and run with it. We’re going to Mexico.

During the countdown to midnight, the basket was set fire and all those hundreds of hopes and dreams for the future soared into the night sky straight into the arms of the gods. May they be listening. May they be pleased with us.

Can you guess what we wrote on our cards? I’ll bet you can. And I’ll bet you can also imagine what kinds of clothes I might find in my future dream when this new identity is solidified. Clue: there will be fewer layers.

I’ll leave you with some of my favorite YouTube videos from Tacoma’s First Night 2016. I’m a little partial to the Seattle Rock Orchestra.

And come visit the museum during this cold winter. You can get warmed up in the hot shop, then come by and say hello to us on Galapagos. We’d love to meet you.