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change it Last night, I had a dream. I don't remember much of it, but what I do remember is fascinating. (To me.)

What I remember: I sat there, somewhere, writing, writing madly, scribbling the same thing over and over. Cogito Ergo Sum. The one image from my dream that sticks with me looks like this:

Cogito Ergo Sum

Cogito Ergo Sum

Cogito Ergo Sum

Cogito Ergo Sum

Cogito Ergo Sum

Cogito Ergo Sum

Well, you get the picture. Those three words repeated themselves over and over. Those three Latin words. And I do not know Latin. But, apparently, I do dream about Descartes. Or, at least his ideas. In the unfortunate event that you were not a philosophy major like I was, in the event that you studied something disgustingly practical like economics, I will offer a quick translation of Descartes' famous words.

Cogito Ergo Sum = I think, therefore I am.

You probably knew that, but I don't want to assume anything. And, no, there is nothing disgusting about economics or its brethren fields of study. Calm down.

Why did I dream of Descartes? Why did I dream of this existentially exquisite trio of words? I don't know. I'm not going to pretend to know. But I will hazard a guess. Presumably, my dream evidences the importance of thought not only in my life, but in my identity. Maybe I am a modern day Descartes, prone to question everything, to doubt everything that surrounds me. Where others see periods and exclamation points, I see a ubiquity of question marks. BUT what is one thing I cannot doubt? The fact that I doubt, the fact that I think. And, the incontrovertible facts that I constantly doubt and think, underscore the fact that I exist. So, the conclusion: I exist! Phew. Good to know.

Ultimately, this dream, even just the haunting shards I still have of it, means so much more than this. More than I can understand or articulate. Why the repetition of the same three words? (Symbolic of the oft monotonous repeating patterns of modern motherhood? Representative of the unrelenting forward thrust of life, the lack of pause?) Why the act of writing in the dream? (Because for me writing is breath, truth, exploration? Because the written word is tangible and immortal while thoughts are ephemeral and fleeting? Because I am currently, passionately, obsessed with writing and it is not only consuming my waking life, but my subconscious?) Why the simple and stark black against white? (Because I tend to see the infinite grays, the inchoate complexities, the resident layers, in any situation and maybe part of me longs for a simpler, black-and-white, existence and perception thereof?)

Who knows. What I do know is that I went to sleep last night and woke up this morning and my mind is on fire. Here I am, plopped at Starbucks, plugged in to modernity and the Internet and a cliched Yuppie existence, but my mind is dancing a philosophical jig. What about Descartes' famous mind/body distinction? Are the mind and body really separate, fundamentally distinct? I don't know. What I do know is that my mind is a busy thing, revving when I least expect it, cooking up dreams alternatingly metaphysical and mundane.

Why do we fixate so intently on our bodies? How big or small they are? Why do we not cast the same fierce focus on our minds? Why do we fixate on physical flaws and not on our mental shortcomings? I know that some of you wish for smaller butts, or bigger boobs, or straighter teeth. But do you ever squint and wish for a different psyche? Do you wish you could change your mind?

I do. I wish that I could re-wire my brain and add a light switch. At 3:30am when my body is tired, in dire need of rest, but my mind is charting the future, and fixed in the past, and juggling worries and hopes and dreams literal and figurative, I wish I could flip a switch and turn it off. Also, in those moments, those deceptively mundane moments when I am building a Lego tower or filling a bowl of Cheerios, and my brain is flagging and distant, I would hurl that switch in the other direction. Turn the mind on, compel it to absorb the nuances, the details, the colors of that moment. And, if I were really going to splurge on this transformation, I would add a dimmer to my brain's switch. So that I could make more subtle changes to my mind's openness and activity. And of course I would want a circuit breaker. For those times when I am utterly overloaded, incapacitated. For those times when it is all just too much.

If you could, would you change your mind? If so, how? If not, why?

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