I had a strange dream.
The first part of it was near a boat landing in a harbor town. The harbor looked like some place in the northeast US or maybe Canada. There was an old clapboard church painted primrose yellow and shuttered, that floated a few yards into the harbor near the boat landing, on pontoons. My thought was it had to have been built around 1850 or so.
Interestingly, I found this: http://www.retronaut.com/2013/05/the-floating-church-of-the-redeemer/ The church I saw was less ornate, but of a very similar style. It burned in 1868. I also found a similar church called Church of the Holy Comforter that is closer to what I saw (less ornate and with shutters), on a site about seamen’s chapels. This one also didn’t exist after 1868. This was unexpected and sort of reinforces the idea that I was a sailor at some point in my life before John, perhaps before settling and becoming a stage hand. It also reinforces my suspicions of a past life connection to the northeast US, a place I’ve only traveled to once in this life.
The second part of the dream had me walking along Sherbourne Road in Yeovil. The town was a weird amalgam of how it looks now (with paved roads and modern signage) and how it looked more than a century ago (not a single Peugeot dealership or ASDA in sight, and all the buildings were of a similar style so that the street had some continuity). It was a bright sunny day, all the shops were open, and people smiled to see me. I sat down in the main square, where the war memorial would have been, except there was a small green with trees and plants. I was shaded by a tree that was small, but very old (perhaps a wax myrtle or something along those lines). At the time I didn’t really question it but now that I think about it, the symbolism is obvious.
It’s almost as if this was the Yeovil that would have existed in the present, if that war hadn’t happened. And the more I think about it the more I feel that the war was such a scar on the psyche of the Western world that its stain may have corrupted us all into beings who prefer to dwell among concrete, crass consumerism, and somber memorials. That’s the Yeovil of 2013 but it’s not the Yeovil that was meant to be.
I have a profound sense of melancholy now, as if I’ve been shown the awful truth of the world we live in as something scarred, broken, and lost and I have this deep yearning to restore the world to how it was supposed to be, a bright golden future where people smile at each other in idyllic villages that never lost their best young men in a pointless war.
I thought I’d gotten away from the shadow of that war… I guess a part of me never will.