For years, I’ve dreamt of houses: houses I know and don’t know, imaginary and real, with multiple rooms sprawling underground or stacked spaces with narrow stairs leading upward. Gaston Bachelard, wrote extensively of this house-dreaming in his fabled and fabulous book, The Poetics of Space:
I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace…Late in life, with indomitable courage, we continue to say that we are going to do what we have not yet done: we are going to build a house. This dream house may be merely a dream of ownership, the embodiment of everything that is considered convenient, comfortable, healthy, sound, desirable, by other people. It must therefore satisfy both pride and reason, two irreconcilable terms.
For me, the house dreams often speak to expansion, spaciousness, the life of the body, the home of the soul, the place for gathering and making together community and family, peace and homecoming. So I love my house dreams and how, in so many of them, the house ends up having many more rooms than expected.
Last night, I dreamt about holding off on carpeting a large, light-filled new room — with a hammock outside the window where two friends napped — so I could paint the room first. Off-white, I thought. Either that or pale purple. When I woke, the world felt like a new house: clean, wide, full of drawers to fill and furniture to move around. Do you dream of houses too?