19 September 2010

Home for the Shaman

So I have this dream, that has crystallized in the first half of this year.  A lifetime in the making, or most of my lifetime.  In its essence the dream is a simple one about being possessed of home, hearth and work.  Oh, and love.  Love is in there somewhere.

I know now I have had this dream, or a version of it ever since I was a teenager.  It grew stronger while I was in college but remained unformed.  I would wake up with a vague feeling of contentedness that quickly evaporated in the sunlight of my overheated higher education adventures.  I chased it many days and never caught it while I was awake.  After graduation I moved on to a fairly average existence as a responsible (mostly) career man living in the suburbs of Baltimore.  It was then the dream began to wane.  Perhaps because I convinced myself that I had everything I needed, even while my subconscious held the unsettling truth that I did not.

The dream has come back, powerfully, and it starts in a house.  The location of this house I have yet to determine but I feel a strong suggestion of New England or maybe South-Central US.  The dream never lasts long enough for me to experience much weather and I cannot tell much of climate.  All I know is that it is early fall,  there is chill in the air and the house is nestled somewhere among some hills.  I suspect there are mountains nearby, as well.

In this dream, I am my own boss, although I cannot say exactly what I do.  I think I may design houses.  I think I write, successfully, for various publications spanning many aspects of fiction and non-fiction.  It is entirely possible that I make things.  I have seen handcrafted pottery and maybe metal sculptures.  Definitely pottery.  I had a semester-long workshop in architecture studio, in college, and the idea of making pots and tiles never really left my mind.

The dream starts in the kitchen, I think.  I have seen out the window over the sink, and it overlooks a barn-like building sitting a relatively short distance away in a back lot.  There is a flagstone path leading from the back door to a door in the front of the barn.  A gravel driveway leads away from the barn and out of sight beyond the side of the house, presumably to a road out front.  I've never been out front in this dream, so I cannot say.  There may be an old tree out back with some slightly rusted cast iron lawn furniture under it, a table and two chairs.  It pleases me to think I nap in those chairs some weekends when the weather is good.

It is only recently that I have clearly begun to see myself in this dream.  It's very strange, my thoughts are my own but the point-of-view is from somewhere else.  That somewhere else, I believe, is from behind the eyes of another person in the dream.  It starts abruptly like a spliced-in video clip.  It is early morning, sometime after sunrise.  A screen door can be heard to slam faintly, and the POV feels like the person/me is standing at the sink, about to wash some breakfast dishes, and looking out the window.  It looks up.

I am strolling across the back lot, dew wetting my workshoes.  I am wearing a flannel shirt, untucked, and jeans.  Under the shirt, I have the feeling that I am wearing a thermal undershirt, the kind that has the waffle-like surface to it.  In one hand is a big travel mug or ceramic cup.  Faint steam leaks from the top and though I have never seen it I swear it has hot tea in it.

Sometimes, in this dream, there is a large dog frisking after me, leaping up and wagging his tail.  When the dog is in the dream, I let it rest its paws on my chest as I pat its head before getting him down.  It might be a Weimaraner or a Lab, not sure.

I can be seen making my way across the back lot.  Just before I reach the door to the barn or workshop, I turn to look back at the house.  My eyes lock onto the eyes of the person in the house.  I raise my hand to my cheek, which is two days' unshaven and still warm from the kiss it received before leaving the house.  I smile, deeply, warmly.  The person smiles back and waves.  I reciprocate and turn towards the barn.  It is usually then that the dream ends.

In the afterglow, those precious few moments in the doorway between sleep and wakefulness, I am overwhelmed with the feeling that I am home, I am happy...that I am loved, truly, deeply, unconditionally.

I was close to it, once, my home and hearth in the hills.  Now, I know I'm not.  I dreamed this dream last night.  Never has life and love seemed so clear as then, and never, ever have they seemed so far away.


  1. Sounds like you are ready to settle down, and maybe have the 'with who' in mind. I'd go for the lab, they are more intelligent and therefore better companions.

    Have you seen 'The Happy Planet Index' on TED?

    Sounds like the Costa Rican's have it sussed.


  2. Seems like you have it all mapped out in one dimension or the other.

  3. Maybe that's you on the other side, like in Fringe. Just be careful if you get the opportunity to cross over.

  4. Okay, so I don't want to scare you, but I have that dream while I'm awake. That place you describe? Yeah. One of these days, I'll have that kind of house/location too. My place is like (well I don't know where, I just see it in my head) somewhere around North Carolina or Virginia or . . . who knows. Somewhat mountainous, a little cooler, beautiful in the fall, little bit of snow, but not much. A place tucked away where creativity abounds and life could not ever get any better. And yeah, bigtime love. Anyway, your description sounds like what I see wide awake. I hope you get your dream, Irish.

  5. A truly wonderful piece of descriptive writing Irish.
    You explained quite a lot of yourself here to...

  6. I honestly believe some people can see the future in their dreams. Keep looking for details and write them down as soon as you wake up.

    Hold tight...it will happen.

  7. there ya go... HELL YEAH. that's what i was wishing to hear from you. HELL YEAH, yes i'll say it twice. and by the way, there are tons of us chasing that dream - starting that dream - even living that dream! urban farmer, urban artist, urban papa - create your destiny.

    artist and writers collectives are everywhere - your eyes are starting to open, now plunge headfirst. seriously.

  8. Liked this. A lot. And since that seemed a thoroughly inadequate comment, I let it go.

    But it's been popping back into my head at random moments. Let's see if I can come up with more detail, shall we? :)

    Small part of me is a smidge jealous: what a beautiful scene, and a great touchstone to come back to again and again as a guide! My only recurring dream is a nightmare; it's rare enough these days that I dream it, but how lame is that? I have so little idea of where I'm headed at all that a lighthouse beacon like yours that comes around and lights the landscape periodically makes me just a teensy bit envious. :)

    The song that popped into my head (as one usually does, and thanks mostly to your last line...) was "Many the Miles" by Sara Bareilles. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEFr9j8MVx0) Talk about an earworm. It wouldn't go away... I eventually had to dig it out and play it a half dozen times. I was struck in doing so that I was mentally addressing it to my now-and-future self, whoever she is/will be, maybe as your dream is speaking to you? Funny how our subconscious brains take care of us, eh?

    And lastly, though it seems flippant (which is not at all the intent), part of me wants to point you to Ellis Paul's "Live in the Now." You have a fantastically lovely new home now, and you're making beautiful moments there with your daughter. Don't get too far ahead of yourself! Hang in, have faith, enjoy the journey. (just my two cents...)


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...