Dream of: 19 February 1996 "Gaving"

I was with my great-uncle Curt in his home. Curt, a tall heavy man, looked as if he might be in his early 70s, but still robust and alert. At the moment he was in a particularly lively state because he was waiting for something he wanted very much to see.

I had learned that Curt was extremely interested in the life of his grandmother, who would also be one of my ancestors. Curt had learned as much as he could about her life, and he had collected everything he could find which had anything to do with her. At the moment, he had learned of a picture which had been taken of her around 1905; he was anxiously waiting for the picture to arrive. Curt told me he already owned between 200 and 300 pictures of his grandmother; but he was especially interested in this one because it would be one of the earliest ones.

My father, who was supposed to be bringing the picture to Curt, finally walked into the room. But my father immediately made it clear that he didn't have the picture. My father handed Curt some money which Curt had apparently given my father to pay for the picture. My father explained that although he had as yet been unable to obtain the picture, he had talked to the people who had the picture, and it was still possible that he might be able to obtain it later in the afternoon.

As my father talked, I inferred that the picture had been taken at Curt's grandmother's place of employment, a shoe factory in Cincinnati, Ohio. And then I remembered something which had previously not seemed of any particular importance: Curt had a miniature replica of the building which housed the shoe factory. In fact, the replica was sitting on a table right next to me; I looked it over. I had seen this replica before and had never paid much attention to it. But now it began to fascinate me.

The replica – which stood about a half meter tall – was of a building perhaps ten stories high. From the looks of the replica, the actual building had probably been constructed from large white stone. The front of the building was recessed; wings protruded outward from both sides, something like the letter "E" lying on its side, with the middle line missing. The building was rather ornate; it looked much more like an office building than a factory.

That such a replica of the building even existed was most interesting. And to think that Curt had saved the replica simply because his grandmother had worked in the building! That Curt had gone to such extremes to accumulate his collection was amazing. But what would would happen to Curt's collection when he died? – I might like to have it.

The desire to have Curt's collection intensified when I noticed one other piece of Curt's collection. I had seen this piece before, but somehow I simply hadn't paid any attention to it; I now however realized just how exquisite it was. It was a statue of a woman lying on her side, with her head propped up by the hand of one arm resting on the elbow, something like a statue which might be found on an ancient sarcophagus. The base on which the woman lay formed an oval under the length of the woman, and all around the top of the oval base ran a rim about two centimeters high. The statue was in perfect shape except for a portion of the rim which had been broken off.

The statue wasn't life-size, but probably about half the size of a person. I examined the statue closely, wondering about its composition. It was made of stone comprised of small pebbles. At first I thought perhaps the artist had simply put the pebbles together, but upon closer examination I could tell that the statue had been carved and chiseled from stone composed of pebbles.

This was an extraordinary work of art – worthy to be in a museum. But if the statue were put in a museum, all its history would be lost. I wasn't even sure yet of its history myself; I didn't know how the statue related to Curt's grandmother, although I thought it clearly must be a likeness of her.

I did know that I certainly would like to have the statue, as well as the rest of Curt's collection. To whom would he leave the collection when he died? Perhaps if I began showing more interest and if I impressed Curt with my desire to know more about his grandmother, he might leave the collection to me. It was a long shot, but I could try.

I first needed to know her name. I asked Curt, but when he told me the name, it was like no name I had ever heard before and was difficult to understand. It seemed almost like a combination of the words "giving" and "having," something like "Gaving."

As Curt talked, he was able to somehow climb up next to the statue and lie beside it. He clearly loved it dearly.

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