Last night I had another one of those dreams that stay with you, long after you wake up. The kind where you get a glimpse of the things you try to suppress or ignore in waking life. I dreamed I was in my old neighborhood in Rohnert Park, but it must have been years later, because the trees were huge, and the street was shaded, like 'old' neighborhoods are. Then I saw a small white and gray cat, she looked familiar...it was Simone! my old kitty who lived with me for 12 years...she ran up to me and I picked her up, so happy to see her as she was purring, I realized then it must be a 'visit' and therefore this must be a dream, but in any case, here she was, and I was glad.
As I walked while I was carrying her, we went by my old house. She struggled and then jumped down and ran up to the front door. It was ajar, so she went in! "Simone! Nooo that's not our house now!" So I went up to the door and knocked "Hello??" and peered in. No one seemed to be home. Simone was sitting on a large chair, looking around as if disoriented, because it was disorienting to see my old house with unfamiliar furniture, kids' toys on the floor, and different pictures on the wall. "Come on Simone, we have to leave." But she didn't want to leave, and she ran down the hall toward the bedrooms.
"Simone! No! this isn't our house anymore!" And as I said that, I was suddenly filled with tremendous sadness and loss. I went into the room that was my office with a built-in desk and shelves, Simone was sitting on the desk, staring at me and I could sense what she was saying, "We're home now!"
"No Simone, we're not home...this used to be home, but not now." Then I began to sob, extremely...The sense of loss, regret, sadness...I never did in waking life, because I was too busy dealing with the logistics, but now I was here in my old house, overflowing with grief and the neverending wonder of 'what might have been'...As I looked around, I could see that this was certainly my old room, but with other peoples' stuff in it, which was very incongruous, disorienting...then I began to notice particular objects, like my old tv, my old printer, old pictures, some of the stuff was mine!
Then I heard a car pull in to the driveway, "Oh nooo, they're home!" I tried to grab Simone but she jumped down and dashed into the bedroom, so I chased her in there. She ducked under the bed, so I went under there too, to hide...I could her two womens' voices as they entered through the front door. They went into the kitchen, and as I peered out from under the bed I noticed a door, a new door to the garage they must have put in. "that's our way out." ...I picked up Simone and quietly made for the door, as we went out, I saw that the garage had been converted into a playroom/den, with the washer and dryer, and extra fridge, etc...I also noticed my old clock radio, and my old record albums I hadn't seen in years. You know, these are mine, I'm gonna take them. So I let Simone out the side door and went back and grabbed the radio and a handful of albums...Outside, I saw that my old green Honda was parked on the street, so I put the stuff in the Honda and went back to get more of MY things. As I went back in, I picked up and old cd player that was mine...as I did, a woman of about 40 came into the room. "Who are you, what are you doing with my cd player??"
"Actually, I used to live here, and this is MY old cd player."
"No it's not, it's mine."
"No I can tell it's mine, it's got the same old scratch, I remember."
"It stopped being yours when you gave it away to Goodwill, and then I bought it, so that makes it mine now... just like this house stopped being yours when you sold it."
She was right of course..."Well, I have a radio and some records out in the car..."
"That's okay, that's our car too."
I was deflated, bewildered..."But it still feels like mine, what it represented..."
"It's what it represented for that time, but that time is past...like a spirit that passes through many lives, many lives can pass through one spirit, in one lifetime...this house was one."
As I looked around, I realized that yes, the house was just a chunk of wood and masonry, but it represented a life back then...and, like Simone, still remains a part of my spirit.