Monday, April 30, 2012

White Box

Candy Stripers
I slept like the dead last night – the kind of deep, dreamless sleep that comes from sheer exhaustion.  It was quasi – not fully – restorative.  I’ve been burning too many candles at too many ends for one night’s sleep to put me back together again.  But I do feel better today and perhaps I’ll enjoy another sound sleep tonight.

I’m now on a plane to Seattle where I will spend the next week wandering back and forth between a bland hotel room and the convention center.   Maybe I’ll have time to take in the Space Needle or take a ferry around the harbor.  Mostly, I’ll be in meetings or at receptions and dinners.  I don’t feel nearly prepared enough but I’m sure I’ll muddle through.  I always do.

My JetBlue TV is broken – the sound system emits a very high pitched squealing sound no matter what headphones I use – so Wrecking Ball , Bruce Springsteen’s latest, plays quietly as I write this.   There is something bluesy about this vintage of Bruce and I’m loving it.  The album is a gift from a dear friend.  And, as instructed, I started with the title song.   Reminds me of earlier times when another dear friend gave me my first taste of the Boss.  Inherent in the gift is the memories it brings back.  Open windows, soft breezes, youth.  I may not be able to go back in time but for a moment I can capture that long ago feeling that my life was yet mine to paint.

Hues of the Sun
Which brings me to the white box.  No, it’s not the white box challenge of many a home design show.  You know that one, the designers are given a room, all white  with a white sofa, table, and lamp.  They are sent to a pet store (or some equally inane place) to shop for accessories.  No, this is the white box of my dream this morning.  The one I had in that space between full awakening and deep quiet sleep.  The space where I dreamt of a white box floating in the sky.

In my dream, that box was my new home.  It was like a NY city railroad apartment or a Shotgun house in New Orleans, the rooms progressed along a long corridor that ran from the front door through to the back.  The corridor ended in a picture window that looked out over the tree tops and into the deep blue sky.  There was a terrace but the entire thing – terrace and all -- was suspended inside of an all glass building that reminded me of being inside the apple store on 5th avenue in NYC.  A staircase wound  down, down, down from the balcony to who knows where.   The balcony railing was a matte silver finish that ran straight as an arrow from room to room.

Graceful Exit
There was only a mattress and box spring leaning up in the corner of the living room. Hanging on the wall was the crazy quilt jacket that now adorns the space above my bed in my current abode.  The kimono jacket made by the fluttering crafter from a long ago show.  The flutterer had the type of nervous energy that you had to be in the mood for if you stopped at her booth.  As beautiful as her work were the hangers that her husband made for her display – all copper and wood those hangers are.  Both followed me home and both followed me into this dream.  Blue on a white wall.

My dreams are more textured than this one – they are vivid with colors and often about traveling.  Sometimes they are nightmares – perhaps the most memorable of the last several years being standing in the streets of a strange city with water up to my waist, snow falling, and waves crashing in the distance as I watched the ship I was supposed to be on pull away from the dock.  Frustrated, cold, and wet is how I remember that dream.

Creamy Shadows
This dream was different.  The white box was a space that I liked – every room a picture window, a balcony running the length of the abode, white walls just waiting for me to put my stamp on them, a living room that was perfect for the tangerine sofa that I fell in love with on a long ago trip to Chicago.  A different space from my cozy pre-war abode – that space of soft whites and richly colored rugs and art from here, there, everywhere.   Beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, and subway tiles in the bathroom.  A solid, grounded apartment – not this ethereal white box in the sky of my dreams.

I like this white box that I created this morning.  It’s a place of endless possibilities where I could, yet again, paint my life.  It ‘s a space that is free of the flotsam and jetsam of the life I’ve already lived – no knick knacks from Africa, or print of a mystical young woman holding an apple from China.  Just me and a bed floating in a deep blue sky where as the sun fades away, the stars will seem close enough to grasp.

I think I’ll keep this airy white box of mine – perhaps some day I’ll find its corporeal equivalent sitting in a tree or floating at seat or on top of a mountain.  For now, it exists in that space in my mind that is somewhere between sleeping and waking.  That space where dreams break through into consciousness and paint a memory onto the canvas that is my mind.

Black & White Tulips

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