Monday, April 02, 2012

The big valley

A couple of times a year I dream about driving east of Seattle, up toward the Cascade Mountains. At some point I arrive at or pass through a wide, grassy valley. On the gentle slopes are several large structures, a few miles apart, on either side of the valley. One is a huge beehive-shaped wooden building. Whether it's a barn or a house, I don't know. On the eastern side, I think, is a grey stone "castle", probably 19th century or early 20th century, with squared-off battlements and paned windows, like an English country house made to look Medieval-esque. There's a crossroads down by the narrow river, and at one juncture, on the West side, there's a small farm and nursery where I sometimes stop to look at unique plants. They also have chickens for sale, pullets and hens of unusual colors and shapes. Some are breathtaking tropical colors. One breed is white with china blue accents on the neck, tail and wingtips.

I'm always happy to drive through this area. It feels like a place from my childhood, and I always feel happy anticipation of an exciting road trip when I visit there. Driving north along the west side there's a large cemetery and war memorial with amazing statues and a museum of some kind. It's high on the slope and overlooks the valley. Sometimes this cemetery/monument is located on the road up in the mountains to the east, or along the gorge of a river that looks like the Columbia, but that runs more NE to SW than East to West.

Last night I dreamed about this valley, and it's been on my mind all day. The sense of it is so strong that I'm having a hard time visualizing the real topography of the Sammamish Valley or Snoqualmie River area, which is what I'm sure my subconscious has cobbled it together from. The valley in my subconscious is at least twice as wide as the Samammish Valley, less developed, and dotted with more grandiose structures. I'm going to have to start mapping it. The next time I dream about it, I'll try to sketch it out upon waking. I've been dreaming about it for at least twenty-five years, along with other places that exist only in my subconscious. There are whole worlds in there that I keep re-visiting, along with a few people and plot lines. It's all very surreal and only seems logical when I'm in there. Sometimes I'm aware that I'm re-visiting, sometimes I'm lucid, and sometimes I think I'm really there in waking life and then it's "At last, I'm finally here!" Then I wake up. Usually when I awaken I'm just disappointed that it was only a dream. Today, however, that place was so strongly imposed on my consciousness that I could only see it instead of the real topography East of Seattle. I find this very interesting.

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