Thursday, July 9, 2009

Building a Palace

I had a very vivid dream last night. I was in my maternal grandparents' house.

The house is enormous. It didn't look like it on the outside. It looked tired. It was one of those homes where everything happened through the back door. Three grey-painted wooden steps led up to the back porch & door. To the right of those steps were another tall set of grey-painted stairs leading up to the second floor. Once you got past the entrance & kitchen into the main living areas, though, it was huge. Big, big rooms with 12 foot ceilings. A place where opulence could have reigned. But it was poorly lit & was filled with papers and momentos from my grandparents' travels. As an adult looking back, I can see that there were treasures lost in the trash.

But in my dream it wasn't like that at all. The ground floor didn't really play a role in my dream. I knew my mom & sister Christel were there. But I walked up the majestic staircase (which had been impressive in reality, but not ornately carved as in my dream) & saw the top floor had been transformed. The three bedrooms upstairs had been emptied of beds & most furniture & luxurious emerald green carpet covered the floors. My dad, still old, but at least a decade younger than when I last saw him, sat at a 1960s modern white pedestal table tucked into a corner of the main room. The only other furniture in the room was a 1960s modern black leather sofa. Dominating the wall behind him was a photo of my mom, surrounded by smaller framed photos of family members. Dad seemed a little unsettled and told me he wanted to move the giant photo of my mom to the next room, but that it had been hard enough for her & Christel to place it the first time & they didn't want to move it again.

I asked where the photo was to go & he told me the next room. Gone were the matching twin beds & model horses from my mom's childhood. Two grand pianos sat facing each other, one's black lacquered surface needing a dusting & the other brown one drawing less attention to itself. Nothing in that room except the plush green carpeting, those two pianos, & a light. In that omniscient dream state, I knew where Dad wanted the photo of Mom place & I knew that he wanted this to be her special room. He was creating this palace out of her childhood home for her.

I walked out into the hallway & saw the door to the walk-in closet opened. I'd only seen that door opened once & it was when my Mom & aunt were sorting thimgs when my grandparents were moving to a care facility. Then Mom had told me as a teen she had turned that space into a tiny private bedroom for herself. Rather than being a narrow room, just big enough for a twin bed, it contained a smaller, but still intricately carved stair leading up to a place I never knew. I rushed back to Dad excited by the find. . . and to tell him that I was happy to inherit the house if there was ever a need.

Nothing else is clear. I don't know what to think about it. I can see all sorts of ways to interpret it. But I know that I want to build my family a palace filled with only the treasures that we treasure.

1 comment:

Ellen Fehr said...

Dear Starr~
Thank you for sharing your dream. I can almost imagine the house looking that way--Dad had expressed a desire once to buy the house and fix it up. Nice to think of a "mansion in the sky."