September 14, 2011
Shangri-laBetween the synapses …
Lately I've been having a lot of strange dreams. I have heard that everyone dreams, every time they get a full night's sleep (always except if they are under the influence of alcohol); its just that for many people dreaming is only something they remember if their dream is disturbed – as in the case when you wake from a bad dream. And lately I know I've had some interesting dreams, but I can't remember most of them. They fade away soon after waking up. Except a couple nights ago I dreamed about remembering a place I haven't been to in a long time, a place from my childhood, or from another lifetime ago. And somehow this place was connected with my father; it was a small little dive bar just north of the downtown part of my home town. This place, somehow connecting me and my father from a different era … it was so real. How could I ever have forgotten it? I was so happy to have remembered this long lost treasure. It was SO REAL, as real as any place I've ever been, anything I've ever known, any experience I've ever had. I couldn't wait to get back there. As I woke the memory of the dream faded, as did the permanence of the existence of this place. But somehow, somewhere, that place is real … and I'm going to go there someday to have a drink.
[ … ]
Several months ago I was struck with a memory, completely out of the blue. And not just any memory, a memory from years and years ago, from my early childhood. How did this memory just materialize in my consciousness without provocation? … My family used to vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Every summer for a week, in a rented house close to the ocean. Back before the highways were fully developed, we'd take the roads available, which passed from town to town until we were able to get back on the Highway for a straight shot back home. Somewhere on a small road in North Carolina, between Nagshead and Richmond, is the place I remembered spontaneously from my childhood. It was a little tourist spot, on someone's personal property along the road, where on display was a tiny village of little white stone houses. A tiny little village, where even as a child you felt like a giant walking about. It was itself a magical experience to be there, for the very young me, like traveling to another world; as amazing as any attraction at Disney World, these tiny houses of stone. This place was named Shagri-la.