Last night I dreamt that I was on a stage, a theater, a 4th Street theater, either the Red Room or the Kraine, a stage that was familiar but also new to me, as it is in life, new and familiar, these places where Suzanne bases her theater company, and where in collaboration with her company we have been staging Authentic Writing performance events - also where, in life, as I know in the dream, there will be two openings this year of shows that came out of what their authors did in our workshops. In the dream I am at first talking with Suzanne, something to do with something I could do in connection with whatever they are doing. Something I could create and put on here. Then she leaves me alone. Leaves me alone so I can come up with ideas, or maybe leaves me alone because she has no faith I will have ideas but is willing to indulge me in my desire to use the space.
So now I am alone in the dark on the stage. There are lights in the theater, for work is in progress there, cleaning work and renovation work, but the curtain is down and so I can just barely see where I am. I can just barely see but there is plenty of light for what I need. I am imagining myself on this stage doing something before an audience. And there is music coming up, music in my head that accompanies me as I stride about, make sweeping gestures - but for what? I have no idea what though I know there is something in the same way that sometimes when I sit down to write I have no idea of what to write but faith that there is something of substance waiting.
Someone knocks on a post beside the curtain to see if anyone is here, then pulls the curtain back and steps in. It is one of the people working in the theater. He is surprised anyone is here. But he does not seem at all surprised so see I have undressed and am wrapped in a sheet, like in a toga. He says excuse me, picks up a small table, and leaves. Clearly to him everything here is quite normal.
I am striding about again, in my normal clothes now, looking in different directions, making gestures, hearing the music, and although it is still silent
here I am singing away in my head to the music that is in my head, words and music while I move about the stage, pushing something ahead, though I do not know yet what it is.
I am alone after I leave the theater. This does not surprise me since in dreams I am always alone. For a moment I am speaking with my friend Lucy whom I sometimes, in this dream version, meet for dinner in the city before I return to Woodstock just I did a couple of times years ago in waking life. She tells me now that she can't meet me this way any longer before my 100-mile trip because Manhattan is a 20-minute subway ride away from her place in Brooklyn and so she would get home too late.
I wake up in Woodstock, excited about this show I am about to do. I am unconcerned about Lucy. I have been in a nether world between sleeping and waking. I know the theater as a real theater, just as I know when I am awake. I know I live in Woodstock and I will continue to come back here. I know I have worked with Suzanne and will work with her again. Know this when awake as well as when dreaming. I have had dinner in the city in the past with Lucy. It is usual for me to travel a hundred mile at night from the city to Woodstock, where I am happy to live. None of this is dream. But the lack of anyone else in my life in pure dream world.
And now I wake up and this thing I am trying to get to as I stride about the stage, moving to interior music, singing and ready to speak the lines I know will come for this thing I do not know except that I know it is there - this thing I knew in the dream was there is suddenly coming into focus. I am awake enough to know I am now in our bed but enough still in what may or may not be a nether world to also know the darkened stage I have just been on. And what is coming is no longer a mystery, as it was while I was striding about that dark stage. So I get up, trying not to wake Marta, and start to write.