Category Archives: Paul Ford

The Cloths of Heaven are Old Shirts and Dark Slacks

When I was in college I knew an old lady who would curse at me through my fog of oversensitive biases.

“I don’t take aspirin,” I said. “I don’t believe in it.”

“Pills are fantastic!” she yelled. “I was on pills and wrote a novel and had a love affair.”

I once told her that I was dreaming almost every night of sitting in classrooms. She thought for a moment—she was driving—and said: “Carl Jung says that boring dreams indicate a boring person.”

This burned its way into my brain like a curse and stayed with me for years. It was as if a wizard had cast a spell: remain forever soft and dull, in black shirts and black shoes with short hair. Other people went rafting down the Ganges but I was here in Brooklyn reading about Unicode.

Thus I used to feel ashamed and useless when everyone told me to go everywhere and do everything. But you dig a ditch, and then another ditch, and then sit and look at the ditch for a while, figuring out how you could be a better digger, ignoring people who love the ditch too much and shrugging off people who wish the ditch was a hill, and then you start up the digging again. No airplanes or Bodhi trees; just me and a machine and the occasional cat. It may be boring, but I am living my dreams.

Paul Ford


The Cloths Of Heaven

(If you drop your dreams on the floor like that cats are going to tread softly on them and they’ll end up dirty with pawprints. Dreams should be in the dresser; that’s why we have a dresser. For dreams. In the little right drawer.)

Paul Ford