The Nefarious Burl Carver

April 6, 1978

Frances Dream  (as if in the 1930s)

I was in a hotel, or something like that, waiting for someone. I was about twenty-five, or a little older. I had been warned that a well-known (but not to me) burl thief and redwood carver would come around and try to get me to bed with him, that he was some kind of derelict and terrible person. He came into the lobby where I was and I liked him immediately. We talked a long time and I remember being held in his arms and it felt good. The geographical region was the desert foothills, not redwood country.

Scene change. I am outside a Catholic church. There are boxes and boxes of clothing all around, used clothing, in and out of the buildings. Now I am inside what used to be a school house. I need clothes badly for me and my children but there are church ladies guarding them. We are very poor. A young boy, ten or twelve, comes up to me, followed by several smaller children. They are familiar but I can’t remember who they are now. He says, “Let’s sneak in and take what we need.” I warn, “We can’t get away with it.” He persists, “If we ask, they’ll say no.” Next thing I am inside with the boy and another boy; the smaller children are waiting outside. Somehow something happens, to do with weapons, and the boy getting wounded, but I forget. I know he was trying to get clothes and food.

Scene change. I am in a small dark house, we are moving out of town, up the canyon of wild horses. The house, cabin, is hung on the side of a cliff made of rock and clay, hanging there like a bee hive. Me, my husband, three small children, two dogs, three cats. I wake up.

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