Posted by: normanlgreen | September 22, 2011

Dream, September 22, 2011 crossing to the mainland


Home, 5:08 am

We have spent an afternoon picking our way through a seaside town. Built over a long time, the scattered village hides in the valleys that open in folds beside the salt water.  Small stuccoed houses peek out from juts of cliff and stands of trees. An anvil shaped prominence provides a natural harbor, so docks of stone or brick or wood have been attached to this splayed peninsula. Most of the shoreline activity is centered in this area. Sherwin and I have visited boats, most of which double as restaurants or stores, but now the day is coming to an end and we find ourselves on a high cliff that looks back across the harbor and the disjointed town. None of the houses are illuminated, but they do not feel abandoned.

Sherwin wants to go to a resort that has been built from an old villa. We move toward the overlook’s edge expecting a series of steps to lead us down to sea level, more than a hundred feet below. When no steps appear, I seat myself on the rocky edge and prepare to drop myself into the water below. My feet explore the undermined cliff below me as I lift my bottom and prepare to slide off into the drop.  In the still water below, a rock just large enough to qualify as an island is the perch of two lighthouses — they are aligned so that they point in a ray toward something out of my sight, out to sea.  Sherwin says that it is not necessary to jump into the harbor, that there is some ferry to take us there. She points into a green fold of the land to indicate where the resort can be found. I wonder that there is no sign of light coming from such an important place. We step away from the cliff’s edge and walk back to the neck of rock connecting this cliff with the mainland. We follow the slope down to the developed part of the harbor and make our way through the moored boats, climbing from one to the next, as they make a shifting causeway to the old town where we can get passage to the place Sherwin wants to visit.

We become distracted by the owners of the boats who want us to dine in their restaurants. I keep moving forward toward the goal only to discover that Sherwin has been waylaid. Every boat has the ethnicity of its owning family. There is a Chinese boat, a Greek boat and an Indian boat, each offering us a below-decks dinning room with tables and candle-light. Our efforts become more frustrated each time we lose each other, but I can at last see that we can step from this boat to a brick cay that is crumbling into the water. I beg Sherwin to make the last leap towards some wharf children who smile and watch us struggle. I turn back to Sherwin and believe that she has crossed over and has now become one of the bricks above the water line. I step across to the shore and pull the brick where she has secreted herself. The brick and a surrounding ceramic shell pull away. The brick is flaky red clay while the ceramic mold is harder still, baked with a salt glaze. The brick comes apart in layers. Red shale bits fall out of the ceramic shell, and they fall into the water. I am devastated. I hold onto the pieces but get a sense that Sherwin is also behind me, back on the Indian family’s boat, so I rush back to find she is asleep on one of the family member’s cots, below the deck. I cannot wake her.

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