On some nights, my dreamself goes wandering through the dim halls of my history.
It's a house, a large house, and I visit it randomly, at different periods of its history.
I usually do not belong. I know this, because I am always creeping quietly, and skulking behind curtains. It is always twilight.
Sometimes it's a house, and sometimes, a hotel. There have been times when it has been divided into student housing, or the like. Sometimes it's just a mess, and sometimes it's being renovated.
Once, I was climbing a wide, Victorian staircase, following the sound of music. I peered through an open door into a room of dark wood and green velvet. There was woman playing a grand piano, wearing a dark green velvet gown. The gown and her hairstyle were from the 1840s.
I am usually climbing, but only once do I get to the top.
It's an attic room, flooded with sunlight. It is panelled in a golden wood, and floored with the same. There is a built-in bed, the kind you would find in a Swiss chalet. There is a rag rug and a window seat, complete with a calico cat. It is warm and orderly. It is welcoming. It is mine.
I'm sure there is some psychological explanation for this. I've read a bit of Freud and Jung. I can't say I understand it, but I do have a hint that the house is my psyche, my personality, my soul, if you will, and going up indicates striving for what's good, while in the basement reside my fears and other nasties.
These dreams are interesting, viewed from this perspective, but I don't know how far to carry the analogy. Or metaphor. Or whatever it is.
I know that the appearance of the house differs from visit to visit, but certain configurations repeat themselves.
I once saw a travelogue that took me to the Italian Riviera. The traveller approached the town from the north, looking down at all the white walls and red roofs between the road and the sea. I have approached the house, at times, and it's just like that--nestled between the mountain that is on the east side of the road, and the sea. I am relatively certain I will never go there, but someday I will find a picture...
I read a ghost story about a woman who visits a stranger's house in France, after recognizing it from a dream. The occupants are shocked to see her, and recognize her as their ghost. Occasionally, I wonder if I am unknowingly haunting somebody's house, in that Italian town.