The thing about glitter is if you get it on you, be prepared to have it on you forever. Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.
Demetri Martin

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shadows of Dust

At night when I'm asleep I'm often plagued with dreams of mysterious rooms and passages in my home. Of course, the home in my dream is never the house I actually live in now - it's always an old home that I have recently moved into and am still exploring (because, of course, a house you would bother to dream about moving into always is one that requires exploring).

The house in my dreams usually takes the form of several homes that I knew of growing up, a sort of mosaic memory of these different homes combined into one house. Sometimes there will be a small window in a loft style bedroom that I will crawl through to discover a dusty open room on the other side that I never knew was there. Sometimes there will be furniture in these rooms or chests filled with unusual things that are never actually seen, only recalled later with a feeling of excitement and wonder.  Often the furniture in the rooms is draped with dust covers that create a feeling of ghostly romance and mystery.  Sometimes I'll be wondering through the house and I'll discover a place in the house or a room that I had forgotten about.  I think about how I can set the room up as a private space where I can disappear.  This always makes me feel as though I've sort of won something, and I later feel a sense of victory in that sleepy shadow of a dream that you experience upon waking. 

The aura of adventure and unknowing that generates from these dreams leaves me longing for something more. Sometimes the dreams feel so real that I expect to find unusual things about my home, like a small wooden door hidden behind a chair in the corner or a crawl space that leads to a new wing of the house or a ladder that climbs up to a ballroom-like attic.   The clarity with which I recall seeing the dust floating in the stream of sunlight cascading through the dirty window is remarkable. And surprisingly, unlike most deserted or forgotten places, the places in my dreams are always warm and soothing. Comfortable, even.
Once I'm awake I sometimes reach all the way to the back of my hall closet, through all the winter coats and hanging luggage with a small sense of hope.  Sadly, all I feel is the drywall.  There is no doorknocker or knob. There are no holes or vast empty space. I don't suddenly run my fingers along the warm flesh of a mysterious being's face.  The air doesn't suddenly become cooler or aquire a different quality.  I just feel the wall. Construction-grade drywall. Dry, chalky flat paint, masking nothing.  Always, I am left with a residual feeling of disappointment and emptiness, as though there is something missing. 

Can you ever really loose something that you've never actually found?


Anonymous said...

Such a lovely writer you are! :)


Sonia at The Third Street Studio said...

I've had this dream, more than once.. almost exactly.

Andrea on Third Street said...

Curiouser and curiouser...


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