Today's rambling post describes my dream last night. I just wanted to write it down. There's no joke or particular point, so you'll not be missing anything by skipping it.
We're in Japan, although the only way you'd know it is the lingering dread in the back of my mind that once we get back to the airport I won't be able to read the signs. We're at a huge, truly huge, and very old mansion done in the style of mansions in the Old South; it currently holds an antique store and upscale hotel, but used to be a respected college. There are many people here; my parents are about to leave for home, but we're staying because a boss just had some sort of operation. He sleeps. We wander.
We glide unconcerned through the dining halls of the hotel area, unperturbed by the staff as we glean fried chicken and other foods from their buffet bins. In a back room of this place is the President; he seems to always be here. We run through dark and cavernous stage halls on the second level where, for some reason, there are ornate holes in the floor. Unmarked, un-fenced, but completely intentional. One skids to a stop while rerouting to avoid falling - it is very dark and the only way to see them is the glint of light from the entryway off the polished wood edge. Later while examining antiques a woman who remembers me pulls me aside to show me a new old thing. It's a stack of fake books, yet when the cover's removed it turns out to be a combination of a tiny record player and a music box. A stolid old voice begins to recite an introduction to the Bible while the music box part plinks out a seemingly random tune. My vision slowly receeds and I see the galaxy, until the record skips a quick second and she stops playing it. It's neat, but she's asking too much for it. $200, $275, $350 no wait $450. As I look and consider, the price keeps increasing.
We meander over to a smaller reception house done in the same Southern style. This one used to be an art studio. A famous person lived here. Some prominent student or famous artist. After wandering around we discover the building is on fire. Drops of gasoline are falling from the ceiling. I try to climb a wide and dark wooden staircase but as it comes to the roof it is blocked somehow by a support column. Up there just beyond and in the attic is where, for some reason, the famous student lived. I have to jam and wiggle myself through to land on a low-ceilinged projection and move into a wider room where true treasures of this ancient college are held - some of the first scholarly books, the sketchbooks of old masters, small sculptures - everything. The kind woman with the record player is here now, with a friend. We're all trying to figure out how to put out the fire but we can't find where it is. Now we're on the roof - the corrugated steel sheets are green with moss and covered in creeping vines and bushes. A gigantic dent pocks the surface down to create a pool shape. It's slightly moist and I wonder if that was the source of the gasoline dripping from down below. Still, incapable though I am of concocting some form of action against the fire, somehow I want to help so badly that my mere presence makes it flicker out and stop.
The story is over. It's time to go. I jump off the porch roof onto a truck, we gather the boss. We head off towards the airport to figure out the signs. The End.
Many of the scenes from last night are old ones to me. I could draw so many sketches of these places - I know them so intimately. My dreams continually refine and repeat feelings and associations and particular exact settings. But I'm really actually afraid of putting them down on paper (visually, anyway). I worry that if I make them too literal then my mind will feel the mystery is over and I won't get to visit them any more. This huge old mansion with its dark wood and felt-green carpeting? I love to visit it. The Japanese airport? A recurring environment for me that always starts in anxiety and ends in a variety of ways; interestingly it only played a background role. I wish I could show them to you.