Vivian Vance in Cargo Pants Dream

A few nights ago I had a vivid dream which has stayed with me. These are the details:

I am walking on the side of a picturesque highway that is winding up a mountain. There is so much peace this early morning. The sky is clear, the air is fresh, and the mountains punctuating my vision in every direction are lined granite monuments to serenity. There is considerable strength in those rock structures, and yet there is no tension whatsoever in how those mountains interplay with the rest of nature. They are where they are meant to be, and nothing wants to move them from there. I sense that even time cannot erode them any longer. Perhaps, I am walking through a nexus point between the heavens and the earth. Certainly, the scene seems more brilliantly lit and breathtakingly reverent than what I normally experience. In terms of the lighting, I do not see the sun above, though the sky is clear, but everything seems infused with this unseen sunlight. The scene is not lit by the sun so much as it is bathing in the sun. Moreover, the sunlight is neither intense nor hot. Rather, the sunlight is more like a door that has been opened that allows for my perceptions to be much more detailed and interconnected. I am aware of everything at this moment, and yet I do not feel rushed by too much sensation. On the contrary, I am taking it all in very casually. It is as if this is the normal way of perceiving and interacting with the world in this particular place and time, and I am just letting myself be what any observer naturally will be when he finds himself along this stretch of highway. Really, do not fight it. Just stop, look back over your shoulder, and take it all in. That is my thought, when I stop walking, look over my shoulder, and see what I have passed on the highway.

About a quarter mile down the highway on my left side is a partially finished building. It is on the side of the road and on the edge of a great chasm. Across the great chasm is an everlasting expanse of mountains. The closest of those mountains resembles the snow capped Matterhorn. The building is a kind of large, sprawling, Bauhaus labyrinth, except that there are no floor to ceiling windows. Moreover, the edifice is stone, not glass, and thus also calls to mind a castle. It is an amalgamation of medieval and modern, a one of a kind Bauhaus castle, and yet its architectural uniqueness does not detract at all from the seamless unity of the scene. Like the mountains, and like this two lane highway on which I am standing, this Bauhaus castle is meant to be here.

The building rests on a field of low cut grass that extends from the edge of the highway to the cliff. Closer to the edge of the highway is a wood sign that reads: “An Exceptional Stage.” The words are painted in a nineteenth century carnival font that calls to mind an advertisement P.T. Barnum would have commissioned to lure people into his tent. The stylized words are sloped at a forty-five degree angle on the wood surface, and they are facing whoever may be driving or walking down the highway. I cannot tell if there is any sign for those driving or walking up the highway. When I observe the Matterhorn in the background, the Bauhaus castle, and the sign in the foreground, the image looks like a frame captured in a postcard. Everything remains brilliantly lit as before, and yet for that one moment there is also a sepia tone that suggests a picture from the past. I can see something from the past, and yet I can see simultaneously something that remains still unfinished. What is past, and what is yet to come, are strangely one and the same thing.

I am standing inside the Bauhaus castle. The interior is even more unfinished than the exterior. The surface consists of unstained floorboards. To the extent that there are any walls, they are wood panels. For the most part, there are no walls at all, but rather red tape designating where the panels will be put up. There are no doors yet, and most of the doorways enter into small rooms or closets. The halls are narrow and flow with no clear direction. It is as if the halls are being constructed precisely so as to make it easy for people to get lost in here. Though I am inside the building, I am not too far from the door. I sense that if I were to find my way to the inner core I would discover finally the backstage, stage, orchestra pit, and house (audience seating). Given the labyrinthine nature of this place, though, I doubt I shall be able to find that on my own.

Suddenly, I start speaking with a pleasant woman who resembles a young Vivian Vance. She is wearing a work shirt and cargo pants. She is going to be my tour guide inside this theater. While speaking with her I notice that much of the roof has yet to be constructed, so much of the Bauhaus castle remains open to the blue sky. Whereas earlier there had been no direct sunbeam, but rather everything seemed to be infused with a brilliant sun glow, now there is a direct sunbeam. The sunbeam moves across the floorboards, and it illuminates the sawdust floating in the air. The sunbeam is neither hot nor menacing, but it does accentuate how this is an unfinished construction site that is very much open to the elements. I glance over at the sunbeam occasionally, while speaking amicably with my tour guide. She seems not to notice my distraction. She invites me to accompany her down one of the halls, and I sense that I am going to be a part of this place for a while at least. Perhaps, I shall be an actor, or perhaps a writer or a producer. Regardless, I have found a temporary respite in this unfinished place. The road will call me back eventually, but given how time operates out here that may happen tomorrow or in a million years.

Published by Michael Sean Erickson

I write, act, and produce films in Los Angeles. Everything else is conjecture.

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