GH 3: Jami Nakamura Lin’s “Dreamscape #8: The Geometry of Wanting and Forgetting”

“Dreamscape #8: The Geometry of Wanting and Forgetting” by Jami Nakamura Lin, published in Issue 12 of Bat City Review.

I’m challenging myself to read more widely outside of my poetry-centric habits, especially when it comes to perusing literary journals. I read a lot of different kinds of books, but when I pick up a lit mag, it’s so easy for me to just look at the poems.

No more. Time to read well, and to read well means to read widely! Which led me towards non-fiction this week, which is how I found Lin’s “Dreamscape.”

In Japanese mythology the whale’s image appears again and again, sometimes as ghost, sometimes as harbinger, sometimes as a skeleton whose bones we scrape until no cartilage remains.

I love this piece, its ebb and flow. I read this brief essay as both delicate and hardened, both in the dream and firmly grounded in reality. I can relate to this kind of thinking, this kind of stillness as Lin wanders past myth and desire and the unknown future.

Now I see a baby in every seedling, in every omelet. Odd how the wanting comes when it’s impossible, when you look at the figures and the maths don’t come out straight.

I don’t read a lot of writing that makes me think immediately of longing, but this writing does. I want to share this essay with my mother, my grandmother. I want to return to China, to keep on searching for the sake of searching.