Had a dream that I was on the island where I used to live, walking on the beach. It was cold–winter, late fall. The sky was all cloud, blue-gray with a white tinge around the edges. The wind was blowing in off the water.
Up the beach near the jetty I saw a structure. As I got closer I saw that it was a house in progress. Someone (couldn’t even see this person, sort of behind me and leaning forward to talk to me) standing next to me on my right side told me that the person building the house was breaking the law. And I said, well, yes and it’s going to get wrecked by the tide anyway.
As I got closer I could see that the cement foundation was in place and on top there were several puzzle-piece shapes of clapboard hastily shoved together to make up the first floor. On the side of the house closest to the shoreline, there were several bags of cement and some sheet rock leaning up against the wall.
I was angry that the house was being built. I was worried about it.
Then when I woke up from that dream and tried to shut my eyes, all I could see was white. It was as though my head were a white cardboard box inside. I opened my eyes again in the darkness of the room and shut them to the same thing–white, boxed. It was the oddest sensation and I wondered what if there was a condition where all you saw was brightness? How would you ever get rest?
Eventually, the dark came back and I fell asleep and dreamed of another house on another beach. This time it was a cottage my family used to rent. On a lake–my favorite place–on a sandbar. My mother and my sisters were there and it was cold. My mother told us we would stay there for Christmas and when I asked her how we could do that (the walls are not insulated and winters there are 30 below) she told me that we would light a candle in the fireplace.
We lit a candle and huddled around it.
And then I slept.