Dream of: 16 November 2004 "Browsing"

I walked into a little store and into a room where a bunch of boxes were stacked on one side, as if they had been left there as donations for Goodwill. It was Sunday and no one was around. I looked into the boxes, one of which contained something wrapped in plastic bags. I began peeling off the bags, trying to get to the thing. After stripping away five or six bags, I finally got down to just a piece of wax, like bees' wax. I left the wax in the box.

I was in a bit of a hurry. I had some work I needed to be doing elsewhere, and my wife Carolina was also waiting for me somewhere.

I looked in other boxes, all of which were filled with books. I saw nothing interesting, but I thought if I did find a book I liked (since no one was around) I might simply take it. However, I couldn't find anything I wanted.

Finally I noticed a rack of books on one wall and among those books I saw a hardback copy of Goethe's Faust. I picked up the book and leafed through it. It was very old. On the pages, on the right, the text was written in Latin. I hadn't thought Goethe had written in Latin - but maybe I was wrong. I would like to have that book.

Several other books on the rack had German titles. One book was about "God." I thought I might like to have that one - but then I wondered what I could learn about God from a book. Instead I picked up another book filled with old pictures, covering both sides of the pages, with very little writing. I immediately liked that book.

A fellow (perhaps 25 years old) who seemed to work there was sorting through books in boxes. Still holding Faust, I asked him how much the book cost. He hesitated then replied "Three dollars."

Thinking the price was much too high (I had been expecting about 25 cents), I put the book down. I thought I might return for it the following day when someone was there who actually knew prices of books.

I walked to the back of the store, now recalling that I had been there before. I saw a chair I had once liked still there. Ebony, carved like something African, it was beautiful. I wondered if it were broken -- it had been there so long. A smaller chair, apparently for a child, was carved in the same fashion. I thought Carolina would like it.

I noticed some pictures (perhaps 20) with Christian themes hanging on the wall. Two other women in the store saw the pictures at the same time I did, but I stepped up to the pictures first. The pictures were well-executed. I touched one to see if it were original - it was. I liked the pictures, but I didn't need them.

Propped up against one wall was a mantle which was for sale. Some pictures were on the mantle. One picture looked like Marie Trowbridge (my tenth grade geometry teacher). Another picture showed a woman's face which seemed to be rising into the air like a disembodied spirit. In the background were trees and a country lane. The spirit seemed to be rising above the lane. I thought the face represented a dead person whom the artist had known.

I lifted the mantel so see the price: $495, which also seemed too expensive. Besides, the mantel seemed a little flimsy. I set it back down.

I was wasting too much time there, I had things to do and I needed to go.

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