Saturday, December 10, 2011


(I begin with the acknowledgement that other people's dreams are probably pretty boring. If we just pretended they were fiction, fleshed them out, they might be passable. What follows are as many bits as could be gathered from a dream, held as a blog draft, never quite gotten back to. I assume there is a reason that I searched my drafts today and found this. Possibly because I had another visitation dream this week, a different friend of whose death more than 10 years ago I just learned. Are others visited in dreams by the departed, knowing in the dream that they are no longer with us here, yet awakening with the sense of having been given just a little more time in their company?)


There is no door at the street level to keep anyone from drifting up the stairs. Our rooms are singles; we live where we work, bringing whatever aid, comfort and strength we can summon to children who wash their own tattered socks and underwear, then hang them to dry on the rusted handlebars of wheel-less bicycles at the end of the corridor.

I have another home somewhere but this seems to be where I can be found. I answer a knock on the door to my room and one of the children tells me there is someone looking for me, says he didn't want to startle me by just showing up. It is Jack and even in the dream I know that he died more than 9 years ago. And here he is in workingman clothes with smooth skin and kindness.

He has been looking for me, I know without being told. We half hug and even kiss about 80 per cent, edges of lips touching; it was never like that. Both my dream and dreaming selves feel a deep wonder, heart-stabbing, breath-stopping joy. Is he thinner, is it someone else who just reminds me, in some ways yet not others, of the man, smart and lost, whose Impala was named Magnolia, his dogs Morgan and Bodie?
Reasonable facsimile Impala, thanks to
His car is downstairs, he tells me, and says let's go eat. Since leaving reporting to work as a city planner, he has been the first to know about new businesses - restaurants - and become friends with the owners. He parks on the dream version of Colorado Boulevard outside a sandwich shop with a frontage no wider than two bodies. They know him, greet him, show us to a table - the inside not much more spacious than the entry suggested - and he orders for us...pork sandwiches, Cuban, Mexican, I'm not sure, but spicy, on fresh-baked, thick bread. In moments of the dream he is more Jack; as I work to remember it, he becomes more slight, quavering almost, yet his essence true.

As we drive from the restaurant, I ask him what writers I have to read before my days run out; who is essential. I say I've never read Joyce, never read Faulkner. He answers but in a voice so soft that I have to lean closer and ask him to say it again. He talks about who were his favorites; says something about Joyce that makes me laugh. Then we are walking on streets near City Hall where he once worked. He tells me he has found free parking, since the meters are now so expensive. What he had done is bury his car in the plantings along the north side of the abandoned YWCA building. I never learn what I must read.


susan t. landry said...

beautifully transcribed, marylinn. i was right there with you every second.
i have not had a visitation dream in a while; usually i wake up feeling as battered as though i had squeezed through through a too-small opening to an alternate dimension. you dont sound battered, you sound at peace.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Thank you. My dreams generally fall into the realm of mystery where most of life resides. I have so few answers. I do feel less 'other' knowing I am not alone in these visitations and all the more grateful that they do bring peace, even when what had gone before was closer to battering. xo

Kerry O'Gorman said...

Such beautiful images you have evoked. I dreamt of my grandpa who died many years ago...he was a ghost at the funeral of my sister, sitting there between my old Aunt Elsie and my mom. I like to think he was there in actuality. I dream of my sister often and I love the idea that you say of the departed giving us that bit of extra time to spend with them. That makes me feel really good.
I think when we dream of those who are gone, it is also them who are thinking of us.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kerry - Your comment was so moving, the notion of the departed thinking of us, and of course, your sister. When I have such a dream, it feels like a gift and sometimes a wrapping up of unfinished business. The mind is a wonderful thing. xo