Change in the Air

Two years disappeared in a dream moment, as if my childhood home were just as I remembered it the last time I was inside, two years ago next month. I haven’t returned, not to the street, not to the neighborhood, not even to enjoy the views of Puget Sound. I could drive to that part of the city to enjoy the views of the water and the mountains. But I prefer my inner views of those things, which have been part of me since I was around seven years old, when we moved to the house that now belongs to another young family, who are creating their own memories that will be waiting for them in their own futures. I’ve heard through others that the house has experienced significant change – I almost wrote our old house – and that’s how things should be. Change was in the air two Mays ago, when it became clear that my parents could no longer live there on their own. The roof needed to be replaced. The backyard showed all the signs of having been neglected for too long. The inside of the house was a different story. It was as well kept as always. Yet I felt change in the air, which I also felt in last night’s dream. It was nighttime in the dream, and there were two of us in the old house, both of us were guests of sorts, the owners were away, and we had jobs do to, which were unclear, and neither of us seemed to belong there. He was a boatbuilder nearing retirement age, and well, what was I, a writer, an editor, someone who worked with words? After I recorded the dream on paper, its images and I spent time together, and one question repeated itself in my mind: what were the two of us doing in that old house, where neither of us appeared to want to be? I felt I would be somewhere else when morning came. Maybe I had things to learn from the boatbuilder in the meantime. Writers build, too. Process was important to both of us. It helps writers to write and builders to build. The old house was part of my past. I was on my way to somewhere else, with building on my mind.

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