Never did I visit this house again after the age of 9, but it is the house I always return to in dream. Each time I dream of this house, there is a deep process of reconstruction, building each corner of each room, inch by inch. When I return to the house, I am always surprised and pleased to find it just exactly as it had been the day we left. Nobody else ever moved in. It has always stayed just as it was, waiting.
The sequence is usually the same: I spot the house from the street outside, I walk up to the door and find it unlocked. I enter the living room, my bedroom door to the right is open, I move forward through the living room, pass the couch on the right, the fireplace on the left, through the arch to the dining room, past the kitchen, through my parents' room and on to the enormous back porch. The grapefruit trees are heavy with fruit. The guest cottage in the back is open and inside the walls are covered with photographs and contact sheets. The dark room at the back is hung with newly developed images, drip-drying above the trays. The photos are alive with images of the house, of us, of the land around. Our world at that time as captured through my mother's camera. The angles, the light, the essence of our daily lives at that moment rings with echoes of Satie, Chopin, Ives, Debussy. It lives eternal and bright, safe in those contact sheets.
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