Bill Long 8/14/05
Last Night I had the Strangest Dream...
I went to bed very tired late last night after a good weekend with friends and an earlier-than-expected return from the Oregon Coast. Early this morning I dreamed the following. Note that it consists of one basic dream, though certain of the features became more distinct or changed as the dream "morphed" or developed in my mind.
The House--The Original Dream
In my dream I saw a house that was my house in a large neighborhood of other homes. My house, however, was like none in which I had previously lived. It was a very tall structure, 10 stories high, and the other homes in the neighborhood were no taller than 2 or 3 floors. It looked more like a tower or large wing of an expensive hotel or hospital than a house. Even though it was painted an institutional tan, it towered over its neighbors and was strikingly dominant.
The 10 stories of my home were divided as follows. The entry floor (and a wide door opened in from the street with no front stairs) consisted entirely of a sort of museum with large glassed-in pictures or reader-boards, either describing the nature of the house or aspects of my life. There were perhaps 20 of these "exhibits," and about 10 or so people were milling around on this floor. On closer inspection, about 3/4 of them were "tourists" and two or three were seemingly my employees--possibly docents/tour guides.
Floors 2-4 of the house were my library. The three floors were connected by a grand spiral staircase. I had a large working area on one of the floors (I think it was the 3rd) where my desk and immediately required books and periodicals were located. I had the OED, one of my most frequently used reference tools, in the "online" version, and so I had no "set" of this dictionary on my shelves. Thousands of books filled shelves in these three rooms. Classic texts (in original languages) and primary sources abounded, in several languages. I remember distinctly that I had a significant collection of medieval Sanskrit and Arabic mathematical texts, which were neatly arranged on shelves not far from my desk. The library "stretched" me, but it very well represented the wide scope of my interests. Indeed, it contained all the things I needed to do my work.
Floors 5-6 were really "one" floor, but I called it two because there were 20-foot "cathedral ceilings" throughout this "floor," which consisted of my kitchen, dining room, living room and social room. The huge plate-glass windows went the entire 20 feet from floor to ceiling, and covered most of the western face of the floor, allowing a glance over the entire neighborhood for whoever was in this space.
The seventh floor consisted of several (I think four) bedrooms, with "my" bedroom being the largest. It had a very large bed in it, whether queen or king size I couldn't remember. The other three rooms were handsomely appointed, each with a bed, possibly for guests.
All I knew about floors 8-9 were that they were "storage" floors. In the first iteration of the dream I had no sense of what was inside these floors, how they were arranged, if they said "Storage" on them or anything else.
Finally, the 10th floor was a covered roof deck, which commanded a four-direction view for miles in every direction. I don't recall what "barriers" there were to keep people from falling off the roof, but I sensed that there were barriers.
Honing in on the Dream
As I continued to dream or as I tried to make the dream more precise in my mind (how does that work, actually?), I noticed some different features of the dream. First, I had been wondering how one got from the 1st floor to the upper floors, and I think I saw an elevator in a sort of lobby on the 1st floor, but I don't remember really what it looked like. Then, as I continued to dream, I realized that the 7th floor bedrooms disappeared, with nothing to replace it. In other words, it was as if the 7th floor disappeared. Instead of beds were a number of couches, one that was placed on the 5th floor, one on the 3rd and one on the 9th. In addition, I noticed that there were no people in the house above the first floor, even though I recall that I may have had a few people up on the 10th floor deck on one occasion.
As the dream closed I recall I was in my study, sitting at my desk. I had worked very hard on my material for the day, and was very tired. I got up, walked over to the couch, and dropped down on the couch to sleep. Then I awoke. When I awoke, as is often the case when I have a vivid dream, I wondered for a minute if the ideas in my mind were, in fact, part of my actual life. I remember thinking that in order for the thoughts to be "true," I needed to make a lot more money than I currently am making.
The irony in the final statement is that in the dream the house was already built and didn't require any more money in order to be built or paid off. It was mine, and I apparently owned it free and clear. I note several things that stay with me from the dream, the most interesting of which to me are the disappearance of the floor containing the bedrooms, the absence of people in the house except for the first floor, the uncertainty of how to get up to the upper floors and the fact that there were couches in every "important" level of the house in the iterated dream (the library, the main floor and the "storage" area). It suggested that I spent some time in each of the three areas, even if no part of the dream had me spending time in either the living room/kitchen or the storage areas.
I was surprised that I remembered the dream so vividly. Usually I either forget them or remember only small samples of them. I think there is enough here, however, to provide lots of fodder for thought.
Copyright © 2004-2009 William R. Long