Dream of: 19 October 1996 "Stay For A Why"
I had either built or bought a frame cabin on top of a wooded mountain, a cabin where I intended to write a book. In the process of preparing the cabin, two large trees, each more than a meter in diameter, had been cut down in front of the cabin. They now lay on the ground, stripped of their limbs, sectioned into logs. Wanting to dispose of the logs, I thought I might just roll them down the mountainside; and when I set about the task, I was actually able to set one of the logs to rolling. However, the log unfortunately crashed into a couple smaller trees – trees which I had wanted to leave standing – and knocked them down. The large log came to a rest against the fallen trees, and I was unable to budge it. Somewhat saddened by having knocked down the smaller trees, I walked back into the cabin.
My mother was sitting on a couch in the main room – the living room – and I directed her attention to the large picture window at the end of the room. But when we looked out at the fallen trees, what I saw surprised me: now that the smaller trees were down, we had a much better unobstructed view of the wide green valley below the cabin. In fact, the view was so splendid, I thought I might cut down more trees to allow an even wider view.
I saw that from the living room I could actually view the valley through three different gaps in the remaining trees. Through the gaps I could also now see the gravel road beyond the tree line, the road which wound around the mountain up to the cabin. I liked having the view of the road, because now I would be able to see anyone who might be approaching the cabin; and even as I peered at the road, two pickups drove by on the road.
I still had quite a bit of work to do on the cabin, but it was taking shape much better than I had expected. The living room wasn't overly large, yet had sufficient space to make it comfortable. The salient feature was the large picture window, wider than the span of my outstretched arms, at the end of the room. I was continually drawn to look through the window at the valley, which was ever more visible and less obstructed by trees.
Basically now I was putting on the finishing touches to the cabin, arranging the furniture. In the process I realized that to the left of the picture window was yet another regular-sized window, but that I had put a bureau in front of the smaller window so that I couldn't see through it. I would have to move the bureau, I thought.
Other people were helping me finish the cabin. Carolina was here, and she had blessed the room with an interesting ornament. The ceiling of the room curved, highest in the middle and curving down to the sides. The apex of the curve was over the couch, and near the apex, on the wall, Carolina had hung her adornment: a half dozen or so strips of solid, gold-looking pieces of metal. Each strip was perhaps three fingers wide and perhaps as long as a forearm. They spread out from a center like rays of sunlight. I had no idea what they were, but they were quite attractive and seemed to fit in the room.
On the floor below the golden strips was the couch which faced the picture window on the other side of the room. Looking at the area above the couch and below the golden strips, I thought it might be a good place to hang the wooden quilt rack which I had bought long ago but had never really used. A nice quilt hanging there would fit in well with the rustic feel of the room, and I pictured hanging there the green and white hand-made quilt which I had once bought for Carolina.
When I looked back again toward the picture window, I was surprised to see the bureau had been moved from in front of the smaller window to another place in the room, the exact place where I had been intending to move it. I saw that a fellow who was helping me there was the one responsible for moving the bureau, and I was happy that he had done it, because now the view was expanded even more. The only problem I saw was that now through the smaller window I could see that a couple junked cars were sitting outside and partially blocking the view of the valley.
Concentrating on the cars, and wondering to whom they belonged, I seemed to have an over-view of the area. The trees that had been blocking my view were no longer there. In fact, the cabin was now surrounded by a well-cut green lawn, and other small houses were also perched nearby on the mountain. Apparently I was in the midst of a sparse, spread-out community. At first I thought the old junk cars might belong to my nearest neighbor, a small white frame house two or three football fields away; but then I concluded that the cars were probably on my land and I would have to arrange for the eye-sores to be removed.
Although I could see all this, I was still in the cabin. What the view had brought home was the isolation of the place. I had wanted solitude, but only now did I begin to realize that I might have too much of a good thing. Of course I would have a satellite dish installed and would have ample contact with the outside world from the television; but it still might be hard being so alone.
I began talking with one of the people helping me with the final touches. He was a vigorous fellow not yet in his prime. He and I had become good friends and I appreciated his help with the house. I hated to see him leave, and I suggested to him that if he would stay, I would help him build his own cabin. I told him all he needed was a piece of land and a saw-mill. I told him other people whom he could meet were nearby, and I mentioned that I had heard that a retired general and another soldier were living in the area. As soon as I spoke, I realized how ludicrous that sounded – that we could expect lively conversation from a couple old soldiers. Even I saw how soon that would wear out.
My friend didn't seem inclined to build a house. I thought of suggesting that he could live there with me for a while – but I didn't. I knew that would never work out, what with my solitary nature.
I did however think it might be possible that he would stay in my cabin when I wasn't there. I was beginning to see that I would be unable to stay alone for long, and inevitably I would leave the cabin for long stretches. I suggested, "Well, another thing, when I leave, you can come up and stay for a why." I had meant to say "while" but had misspoke and said "why."
My friend made fun of me. "Stay for a why?" he quipped. He then jokingly said that I must think that he was just going to keep bumming around and never have a place of his own in which to stay.
But I had the feeling that he might take me up on my offer.
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