Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Round Robin: The House of My Dreams

This house goes on sale ev'ry Wednesday morning
And is taken off the market in the afternoon.
You can buy a piece of it if you want to
It's been good to me if it's been good for you.
--The House Song, Peter, Paul & Mary, from Album 1700

This week's Round Robin Photo Challenge, "Dream Homes," comes to us from Gem, of the journal Journally Yours. I'm sure she didn't have in mind what I'm about to "unlease" on you. Come on along, and park in the driveway, or in the street, or in the back recesses of your mind. I'm holding Open House on the house of my dreams - and my nightmares. I'm going to do my best to show you at least a photographic impression of the house I dream about - literally - pretty much every time I remember any dreams at all.

The house I live in when I'm asleep is based on the house I live in in Manlius from 1961 to 1976. But there are elements of other houses I've lived in, and of houses I've never lived in with eyes open. For one thing, it's bigger than the real thing. For another, it has strange rooms and stranger inhabitants. But it's home, and I love it. The shot above is a composite of a 1971 photo of the house in Manlius with today's photo of the house I live in now.

Careful of the stairs; a few are missing.
I haven't had the time to make repairs.
First step is the hardest one to master;
Last one I'm not really sure is there.

There were lots of stairs in the house in Manlius. Our current house has none.

This room here once had childish laughter
And I come back to hear it now and again.
I can't say that I'm certain what you're after,
But in this room, a part of you will remain.

When I was four years old, we bought the house in Manlius before the basement was finished. It was still basically a dark, room-shaped hole in the ground, with no way down except by falling in. I immediately thought of Mike Mulligan and the steam shovel (characters from a kid's book Captain Kangaroo used to read on tv), but I had nightmares about it for many years afterward. I can't swear to you that that nightmare basement isn't part of the house I live in when I'm asleep. But I know I also dream about the basement as it was later, with a game room where we hung out and listened to the Beatles and the Monkees and comedy records about psychology. Except that the real basement never led to a secret room as the dream basement does.

Second floor, the lady sleeps in waiting.
Pass the lantern, tiptoe in its glance.
In the room, the soft brown arms of shadow;
In this room, the hardest one to pass.

Another unique feature: my Mom is almost always in the dream house. I'm generally either unsure whether she's dead, or sure that she is but afraid to mention it to her. When Dan turns up, as he occasionally does, we don't discuss the fact that he's been dead for thirty years, but there's never any question of it. Come to think of it, Tracy's stopped by, too, and I've done my best to convince myself that I was mistaken about her dying several years ago.

How much will you pay to live in the attic?
The shavings off your mind are the only rent...

I've dreamed that the house has at least one secret bedroom. Perhaps it's on the other side of this panel.

No, I'm not insane. Why do you ask?


Now go see the rest of the Round Robin entries, most of which are sure to be less disturbing than this one. And yes, you're welcome to join in yourself! Click here for details!

Linking List

Journally Yours

Outpost Mâvarin - Posted!

Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly - Posted!

Percolation - Posted!

Suzanne R - Posted!
New Suzanne R's Life

Nancy Luvs Pix - Posted!

Inside The Gilded Cage - Posted!

(sometimes) photoblog - Posted!

Patrick's Portfolio - Posted!

Gina's Space -

Where Life Takes You... - Posted!

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Carly said...

And I am supposed to sleep after this? First Patrick, and now you. LOL. Halloween comes early to Blogland! :)Come to think of it...I mentioned a ghost as well. Hmmmm...

Suzanne R said...

Wow, very creative and kinda spooky!

alphawoman said...

Great post!!!! Where are all the Round Robins hiding? oooppps.

Globetrotter said...

Well, your craft as a fantasy writer really came through in this one, KAren!

You've sort of given me the creeps!

Great take on the subject!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, I don't know how I found your blog. WOW, I will be busy reading. Your photos were interesting. I agree, walls have memories. I went back to see a house that felt like a mansion when I was a child. The rooms were huge to me and seeing them as an adult, they were small. I think what I regret is how I could have changed those memories. In some ways that is what makes it surreal. -Raven

Becky said...

Most. Creative. Robin. Entry. EVER.


Anonymous said...

Very very cool!

tess said...

Loved the unsurpassed imagination!