Friday, September 16, 2005


I often dream about houses, although for a long time it was apartments. I would be living somewhere and open a closet or side door and realize there were additional rooms that I'd not known about - or forgotten - and begin to make plans to use them. I could move my dresser in here, and make it a dressing room. I could keep my piano in there, and have a private music room. In many cases the rooms were slightly damaged - there would be missing floorboards that showed glimpses of the scary underbelly of the building or doorless openings that led to a shared basement.

There was one apartment building that kept recurring. It was a modification of where I really live, or at least in my heart I accepted that it was where I really lived even if it didn't look at all like reality. There was a back entrance, up a series of fire-escape like balconies, directly into my apartment, and a front entrance that I never used that led through a large foyer/living room, up a grand circular staircase that wove its way through the apartments on the floor below mine. (Sometimes literally - I'd have to step through someone's living room to catch the next level of the stairs, which was why I didn't usually take that route.) In one dream I learned that my upstairs neighbors (who were my actual current upstairs neighbors) had discovered an attic and we all were staking claims to space in it and I made a nifty little office.

I use the past tense because the apartment dreams have evolved into house dreams, usually the real life house my family is now fixing up. In the dreams it's not an empty gutted shell, but has rooms filled with furniture and secrets. Sometimes, like in last night's dream, there is the familiar unfinished house but behind it another building that I've neglected to ever visit which turns out to be filled with beautiful rooms and antiques. I wander around in amazement and then finally pick my bedroom, for in these dreams I always am choosing rooms to move into. I begin to plan how my real life furniture will fit. Bed here, desk there, couch in the little alcove.

One interpretation I have is that the secret rooms symbolize undiscovered possibilities. I may have read that somewhere, I don't remember. But I'm not as invested in assigning meaning to the objects in the dreams as I am in attempting to distill the feelings I have in them. That is what I think reveals what is in my subconscious. The new rooms make me excited, hopeful, surprised (the rooms/second house have usually been there all along without my noticing), yet slightly anxious (falling through the broken floor, walking through others' apartments.) I have these dreams when something new is on the horizon.

Of course I can't avoid the fact that my family is pretty invested, time and energy wise, in working on the old house, and that it has become the place we most often are all together. So when I talk with anyone in my family the old house is on my mind, and easily becomes night fodder. This week, my birthday week, there are more calls, more closely together, more mentions of the house.

And now I have the new job on the horizon, which is like another undiscovered room just waiting for me.


Blogger jane said...

are you always searching for value outwardly, as opposed to inside your soul? i've tended to believe hidden rooms, secrets, etc. are in our souls. but if thats the case, they're beautiful spaces as you've dreamt.

if you find out, i hope you post about it.

1:49 AM  

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