Friday, November 21, 2008

Lincoln's Shoes

February 17, 2002 - Dream

Along with the anonymous dream people, I'm exploring a huge warehouse full of treasures. There are props from famous movies like the Wizard of Oz, but also historical objects.

I find a pair of Abraham Lincoln's shoes gathering dust on a metal shelf in the back of the warehouse. They're plain black boots, quite large. I am thrilled. Immediately I put them on. Once the boots are on my feet, they function like roller skates. I'm skating around and around the warehouse space as fast as I can go. The experience is exhilarating.

Scene changes. I am in a canoe, sitting behind Lincoln. He is facing forward but I know it's him. He's wearing a stovepipe hat and black jacket. We are rowing together. Looking at his hands and the back of his neck, I think, "I had no idea he had African-American in his heritage." Clearly he is half black, half white. I wonder why this is never taught in American schools.

Now I'm back in the warehouse, carefully placing Lincoln's shoes on the shelf. It's time for our group to leave. Alarm clock wakes me up. The dream stays with me, vivid and appealing, all day.


During my first few years in DC, I was obsessed with the Civil War. I read book after book, visited many Civil War landmarks, thought about it, dreamed about it. I've posted repeatedly about the rituals my colleagues and I enacted on the battlefields that surround Washington DC. I also made it my habit to stand in front of the Lincoln Monument while reciting the Gettysburg Address backwards. The tourists found that performance quite amusing. I believed I was unwinding something. Whatever. It was a crazy time, but I learned a lot about American history, so I guess it was all for the greater good.

It's gratifying to look back on this dream from the vantage point of this moment in history. I love the mirror effect. Our president-elect is half black and half white, a senator from Illinois coming into the presidency in the midst of one of the worst periods in American history. Obama quoted Lincoln in his acceptance speech on election night. Comparisons of the two are common in the American press.

I think it's cool. I had a "true" dream! Wow. It doesn't mean anything, not really, but it's fun to think about. Isn't it? At least it is for me.


Val said...

do you write your dreams down? i keep meaning to but i think mine are mainly 'mental filing' pursuits.
this is a great story and very prophetic!

deborah said...

ask Hannah to tell you the Eli/Lincoln story


Love and more love and warmth in your direction.

lettuce said...

that is a cool dream

have a great weekend dearie

Steve said...

That's a GREAT dream! Why do you say it doesn't mean anything? Actually, it seems full of foresight!

tam said...

that is an awesomely cool dream. And i would give anything to have seen you recite the Gettysburg address backwards. That would get me to Washington! Have a lovely weekend, and stay warm.

Ernest de Cugnac said...

Indeed, quite a dream. Haven't figured the symbolism yet. But interesting to row in the same boat as Lincoln. You probably know the statistical thing that each time you draw breath, you inhale a few molecules of air that were in Lincoln's dying breath ...

ArtSparker said...

Like a bird on the wire -

or on Lincoln's Statue's head.

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow, rowing in the same boat with Lincoln. That's incredible! Thanks, God - err - Ernest!

Val I always write down my dreams. I vaguely remembered the Lincoln dream; it took hours for me to find it in the stack of journals on my bookshelf. Sometimes I look back on my dreams in wonder. Half of them I can't remember at all. The things that go on inbetween our ears. Wow.

Reya Mellicker said...

Maybe we were rowing in the same boat together because our birthdays are one day apart (mine is the 13th).

Or - I was so absorbed at that time with the Civil War and with Lincoln, that could be another reason we were canoeing gently down the stream.

Washington Cube said...

You need to:

1) Visit the Lincoln exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery.

2) Go to the re-opening of Ford Theatre and

3) Get some Chinese at Mary Surratt's house. It's a Chinese take out now. Wok and Roll. I'm not kidding.

Reya Mellicker said...

Cube: I will do the first two. I've had many a lovely meal at Wok and Roll, though I usually have sushi instead of Chinese. Didn't know it was Mary Surratt's house! Very cool, thank you.