This morning, sometime between 8:00 and 10:00 AM, I dreamed Worlds.
Nancy's house itself was amazing with art work lining walls, oversized bowls of wood and ceramic on shelves, tables of heavily constructed aged wood and rusted steel support corners. Armoires and corner cabinets were stuffed with dishes, hug with memorabilia, photographs tucked into the many paneled glass windowed doors.
It was not a house furnished or decorated but rather lived in, with each space and each corner and each cabinet and each shelf serving its own urgent need to store or collect or display or wait for their own next use.
Dinner was cooking on the stove which was at least as large as one your would find in a restaurant and smelled at least as good. Gregory and Pat and I decided to explore the rest of the house. We probably never saw all the spaces in what turned out to be this amazing World of theirs.
You can visualize the other stairs and halls and doors and entrances and exits and rooms by imagining and revisiting the most surreal, unbelievable, magical, and amazing movies or real places you have ever seen or experienced or lived in or dreamed about in your entire life.
These worlds unexpectedly occupied the upper levels and the lower levels and the ones that reached out to the side or up to the roof. I begin by describing the first stairway we went up. One had to enter this stairway backwards after stooping down, then raise your body onto the first step. Once in this position you could easily climb the backwards stairs because you were backwards yourself.
At least three landings had to be turned before arriving at our first destination. Being a little claustrophobic I hesitated but the lure of what lie ahead was so strong that after my third attempt to enter this crossword puzzle of a climb I made it. I asked Gregory and Pat to hold back until I had made it all the way to the top and that made it easier.
The top landing opened directly into an industrial type room that felt much larger on the inside than Nancy and David's entire house looked on the outside. It was filled with industrial machines: old, noisy, cranking, conveyer belting, lifting, squeezing, creating.
People were stationed at various points of the room and while they acknowledged our arrival they could not ignore their tasks. One burly, dirty faced man at the end of the first conveyter slipped us each a partially peeled apple, each the size of a soft ball: delicious looking and dripping fragrant juices. We ate them with joy.
A woman showed up with a huge brown wooden bowl of whipped cream in which were tucked at least a dozen chocolate moon-pie cookies. With each apple bite, juice drip and swallow, we followed with a chocolate cookie, drenched in whipped cream, only to rush on to the next round of bite, drip, swallow, drench, eat. While they said nothing, you could tell that the dozen or so dirty from work faced, dirty from work clothed, dirty from work fingered workers enjoyed our delight.
When finished eating, we moved on through an ancient oversized farm door but hesitated. The family was still at their dinner table and we felt like intruders. They looked up and smiled and invited us in to join them at their table where there was room for as least a football team more.
Mother scurried to the stove while the three children scurried with plates, and knives, and forks. We had all but napkins which from the look of the others, we assumed would be our pant leg.
There were boiled potatoes piled high in a ceramic bowl still with dripping boiling water, juicy chicken legs stacked on a platter still with their broiling juices dripping, and more peas than one could eat in a nighttime, even if they were lined up on a knife in each hand.
No dessert was offered because, we thought, the family knew of our apple/ cookie/ whipped cream adventure. We said our good thanks and good byes, full to the top with a plain but most tasty dinner.
Next, we encountered a narrow wooden plank path which ran around the rest of the top of this attic open space. Somehow it was larger than the smaller Rosen house which supported it below. Other families and other industries and other businesses supporting the industries and providing for the families were tucked into corners and slots and nooks and crannies of this Other World we were visiting.
Thoughts of Nancy's dinner, waiting for us below, did not hurry us through our journey as the most amazing visual treats continued to fill our eyes, the most amazing sound treats continued to fill our ears, the most delicious smells and taste treats continued to assault our noses and tastebuds.
Around a corner, with a limited view, we saw someone scurrying out of bed and quickly throwing back the blankets. We realized, with just a little bit of fright, that the person looked like a person, dressed nicely enough and all, but the person was really an animal, a cat dressed nicely enough and walking on his hind legs.
Several other people peeked out from behind their curtained bedrooms including a fox and a chicken who seem to be getting along quite well. They approach us and and formed a ring around us (as we wondered, "Should we be frightened?" But our fears were assuaged as they began to sing us a morning breakfast welcome song.
We acknowledged their graciousness but begged off explaining our having had several previous meals and promising that we would join them when we were back the next time. Hand in hand, they continued singing their breakfast song as they wound themselves gingerly through and around the bedroom curtains, headed we assume towards the kitchen for a most delicious breakfast.
The most amazing thing about how all these occupants in this other World lived was that they did not furnish or design or decorate their spaces. They created their spaces to match their living styles and their daily activities and with things they enjoy and love. Some things were placed in place for convenience, others were left where they lie. Items were piled, stacked, filed, leaned, drawered, hung.
Yet, to my eye, the beauty of these spaces far surpasses anything I have ever seen in magazines or in person at family and friends, or while visiting Versailles. We continued to walk, and to look, and to amaze ... but amazingly not to wonder at the wonder of these Worlds, just to accept and to enjoy.
The path finally lead to a narrow, dark stairway which by now we braved easily, based on previous experiences; with no claustrophobia, no trepidation, no fear. At the top of the darkness was a door which easily swung open onto the roof of Nancy and David's house ... revealing an amusement park sized view of a city skyline with roller coaster public transportation, bumper car busses, water fall escalator stairways, and millions of people, weaving in and out of the erector set constructions and bridges.
We were up so high as to be dizzying but used to our adventures thus far, we were not dizzy. We looking out, across, over, and down at all of them not being able to take everything in at one time and/or fast enough. The noise of the city was a concert of music, no a cacophony of music so beautiful that one stopped breathing and concentrated to hear it better.
Throughout our visit I was hoping to find the place in the house which I have visited several other times in other dreams. We were not able to get there before we had to leave but I can describe it to you.
By climbing a wide, wide stairway, as wide as a room itself; climbing halfway then having to duck under a ceiling beam maybe just three feet higher than the steps, you come into a brightly lit room. It is not al all industrial like the others and looks and feels like a vacation or summer home, mildewed by the lake, or rustic in the woods kind of place.
Three sides of the large room, the sides facing away from the wide stair entrance at the top, were hung with windows, in groups of three with wall space in-between, reaching from just above couch height to just below ceiling height. The windows were covered with pulled open, lacy, lightly fluttering curtains that keep out only a little of the bright sunlight and let in much of the balmy, soft air.
The walls between the windows, although mostly covered by tree bark framed paintings, drawings, and black and white photographs, were painted a light, pleasing egg shell yellow and the moldings and window frames and sills were painted glossy white.
There were overstuffed chairs, comfortable couches, wool throws, cotton shawls, book and magazine filled coffee tables, folk crafted lamps, tree branch end tables, and a rough wooden library table with rough wooden chairs.
Oriental carpets mostly in reds and of various sizes, were strewn about the wooden plank floor in random throws. Some were large, some smaller ones overlapped, some had stitched up holes and some were fully fringed and some fringes were partially worn.
The place was warm, and loving as well as loved and gently used. I can feel the many contented hours spent with family, and friends, and friend's families, and friends of friends.
Then somewhere in the distance all three of us heard it at the same time. Low at first but increasing in volume and rhythm. The dinner bell. Nancy ringing the dinner bell. David sitting at the table waiting. Chicken, potatoes, peas for dinner. Apples, cookies, whipped cream for dessert.
We hurried down.