Sunday, March 06, 2016

Labyrinth, Dreams, and Memories

Sometimes I dream I'm walking through a large mansion.  Other times, I'll be trying to get to an airport, and I half to walk through suburban neighborhoods where all the streets are thwarting me by dead-ending or running in long perpendicular swaths across my path.

Another labyrinth dream Saturday morning.

I was at my grandmother's old farmhouse, or a house like it near the coast.  The house had been built around 1900 out of wood.  The interior was dark, with darkly stained wood and dark fraying fabric.  The house was falling apart; the lower two floors were mostly intact, but the upper forth floor was falling apart.  I walked up some rickety stairs and up to the third floor and realized the house was a house in a house.  The landing was rotting away, and the floor had the feeling of having once been a roof, but above me was the shell of an outer house.  

I don't remember much about what happened in the dream.  My mother's family was there, and there was some labyrinthine moments going from room to room.  A family ritual of some sort was happening; I think family members who had died long ago were being disinterred and cremated and their ashes were being taken in a silver urn to a special place.  

Over all of this was a sense of an impending tsunami.  

Coincidentally, at a writing conference today, one of the workshop exercises was to remember a childhood incident and work with it.  What came to the forefront was a memory about visiting the old farmstead, getting lost in the woods surrounding it, and sub-sequentially striking onto an old gravel road and hoping that it would lead me back to the farm (it didn't exactly, but I did get back).  

While it was interesting to make the connection between labyrinthine dreams and getting lost at the farmstead, the issues surrounding the memory made it difficult to write and made me think about writing characters and writers writing therapy.

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