I dreamed I lived in a manufactured home.
There’s nothing wrong with that, by the way. Growing up in rural America, one encounters quite a few of these. And let’s just say, trailers ain’t what they used to be.
We were having church in my bedroom (paging Dr. Freud). The pastor was an extreme personality, seemingly convinced of his own importance and that of his message.
It was raining.
Distracted from the sermon, I reached out to touch the glistening wall to find the rain was seeping through, forming little rivulets of water running down its length. I was momentarily concerned, though not panicked. I looked back at the pastor who was giving me the “stink eye” for not listening to him as I should. At that moment, we heard a creaking noise. Everyone turned just in time to see the wall give way, like in that Buster Keaton flick, separating from the entire structure and falling in one big, flat piece in the yard.
Again, I was concerned, but not panicked. In fact, the whole thing seemed oddly curious to me, the thought that my most private sanctuary, the place I felt safest, was really just one flimsy, rain-soaked wall between me and the whole, wide world.
And there you go.
Living a lie
I spent a lot of years propping up a deteriorating trailer wall. I painted it, hung pictures on it, and made curtains for the grimy window. I did my best to “bloom where I was planted.” But nothing real can grow in an illusion. The best you can do is a fake ficus tree in a raggedy wicker basket shedding that weird stringy stuff that sort of looks like shredded wheat.
I don’t believe dreams are particularly prophetic, but I do think they can reveal a person’s emotional state. When someone tells me about a dream, I ask them how they felt. What was the predominant feeling throughout the dream?
Gazing through an emotional lens, my dream suggests I’ve lost many of my illusions of safety and control in recent years, so many that I’ve almost gotten used to it. Almost. To tell you the truth, I’m surprised the roof hasn’t caved in.
But you know what? It hasn’t.
Nowadays, when it rains, everything gets a little wet, but with all the open space, it dries off in no time at all. And, man, you should see my garden.