Posted by: normanlgreen | September 17, 2011

Dream, September 16, 2011 barn of infinite mystery


Home, 5:03 am

Sherwin and I have been sent to a warehouse to collect some furniture for her new office. We drive down a dirt road to an old barn which is set on a clearing with a few other utility buildings. It is morning and we park on the sunny east side of the barn. We pass through an open sliding door on the south end of the structure which has not been white washed in years. Inside the light comes from open doorways on each of the four sides. The jumble of goods is arranged in rough rows, with cross streets opening a passage to the left and right at irregular intervals. There are junk cars, old file cabinets, boxes marked with their contents and other boxes bulging with odds and ends. Sherwin and I are looking for a bed for her office and spot one beneath some boxes. We shift the objects and boxes which are piled on top of the frame and bedstead. We put them on top of stable looking stacks around the buried bed and in the walkways.

The warehouseman comes up to help us to uncover the piece. I begin to notice that there are others here fishing through the goods in the barn, not many, but a few scattered through the building and murmuring in low voices. Once we have the bed uncovered, the curator tells us that he will have it disassembled and loaded into our car. I recognize him as my friend Fred, and he wants to show us some things that his father made years ago in vo-tech school. He leads us over to a glass topped, glass walled display cabinet dating from the 1920s. On the dusty shelves there are balls of reclaimed copper wire, a carpenters plumb, an ivory slide rule, and much more that is blocked from view. Fred want us to see a hand made screw from his father’s school days. Fred’s brother comes up behind the counter and opens a sliding door that gives him access. The brother, who looks like Fred, but without the winning smile,  shifts things around looking for the screw. A floursecent tube mounted under the oak frame that supports the glass counter top, shines light within the case.  I point toward some brass wood screws on the bottom shelf, but these are not the ones in question. He findes his way through the dusty collection and picks out a dark brass cylinder three inches long. I am handed the artifact. What makes it interesting is that every quarter inch, the student had to shift his milling from one thread distribution to another, so as I run my finger down its length, I feel the texture change in the cool metal. Fred’s brother invites Sherwin and I to High Tea with a large group of his family who are gathering from all over the country. She has moved into another part of the barn, so I say that I will ask my wife if we have time to accept the invitation. The brother moves away, and Fred speaks to me in a confidential tone. “A few weeks ago he asked me to help him around the farm. I said that I didn’t know if I was up to it. Just like that he quoted to me from the book of Corinthians ‘Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong*.’ So he is into it, deeply.” I go over to Sherwin to tell of the invitation to Tea. She does not want to stay, so I have my excuse to back out. I cross back between the rows of stuff to Fred’s brother and tell him that Sherwin does not have enough time today, but that we would like to invite him to visit us, and perhaps we would have a chance to visit him again at his farm. He shakes his head and returns his attention to disassembling a mechanical filtration system of formed black plastic.

As we prepare to leave the warehouse, a group of women, a portion of the out-of-town guests, arrives through an open doorway. These women range in age from sixty to ninety, with the youngest assisting the eldest into the building and towards a corner of the barn set up for the afternoon tea – I never see this part of the place, but sense it behind me. Sherwin and I get into a conversation with one of the women, asking her from where they have traveled. “South Dakota,” she answers. Sherwin mentions that she respects a politician from that state who is running for office. The visiting woman counters that she cannot support that candidate because of choices that he made when he was a general in the US Army. “He sent a lot of Iraqis to their death in the ‘October Surprise’.”

This dream fell in the middle of a 12 hour sleep — catching up after the past couple of weeks.

* how my dream self had access to this, I cannot say.

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