jeudi 20 décembre 2012

Culture-specific dreams

My youngest likes to tell us her dreams at the breakfast table. They are complicated, as dreams tend to be, especially when recounted by a child. They often feature castles. Today she spoke of a menacing lavoir, a communal washing hut which was central social point of France's villages centuries ago. There was one in the town where her grandparents' country house was, and the girls loved to catch tadpoles in the stagnant water there. It still shows up in her dreams from time to time.

I also dreamt of castles as a child. But mine were castles out of fairy tales, unseen in waking life. My children grew up in the shadow of Versailles. They walk through the Louvre, touch the archways of the Palais du Luxembourg as they rollerblade through its arcades. For them, there is nothing unremoved about the markers of nobility. They live in its vestiges and its archetypes appear, unremarkable, in their dreams.

2 commentaires:

  1. After my trip to Paris in October, my dreams are full of these images . . . can't imagine being a child growing up there.

  2. What can a princess living in a castle possibly dream of?
    Milking cows in a shed?