Northfield Dream

I dreamed that I came to Northfield, Minnesota, as the new assistant pastor to a Lutheran church there. My living quarters were a very large storage area at St. Olaf College, which I soon discovered were shared by a number of extremely interesting characters. The first coinhabitants I met were three oil painters. I met them amid their huge canvases of past paintings. I believe one of them was North African, but it was difficult to be sure, because all three had faces covered in old oil paint. In fact, one of them had only one eye left to see with, the other long painted over. I was excited by the possibility of posing for them, and I looked about in vain for my art model card to present them with, but in the mean time I met a person who pointed out a letter had arrived for me about the piano music I had agreed to perform for a woman’s wedding. I panicked, having forgotten all about it and having never once practiced the long lost music scores. But when I opened her letter, I realized it might be a more light-hearted wedding, because she told me to come pick up my “Liberace costume.” So I walked to her house and was given a costume of black hot pants with a red cape, and a cane with a little bird in a top hat fashioned at the end. While walking across the street, somehow the cane became hit by a passing car and broken in half, and I searched in vain for the little birdie on the street. It had just vanished. Returning home, I discovered lamps had been moved, and I couldn’t figure out where the switch was to turn them on. I still had a lot to learn, and a sermon to write. In the kitchen I met a man who was blind, he told me, but only in one eye. In all, there were probably fifteen men and women who shared this living space on campus.

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