A dream. I am lying on an old gray and white mattress in a large, unfamiliar house. Slowly the mattress rises from the floor and floats through a nearby door, then through other rooms and passageways until reaching a wide, roofed-over veranda. The house reminds me, as I think about it, of a building in Rivendell. We -- the mattress and I -- pass not under but through the roof as easily as light through a window. Below there are green hills dotted with old trees, the hills descending toward an ocean. The colors and contours could be from a Grant Wood painting. The mattress is now quite high up but I feel no anxiety about falling off. The air is comfortable and sweet. Passing over sandy beaches far below, the mattress carries me out over the deep blue water. I admire waves crashing against several small stone islands, too far below for me to hear the impact of water turning white. Now the mattress turns south (I have the feeling of being a passenger simply going where the mattress chooses to go). Soon we're back over land, slowing descending toward a a rural town -- farms, lanes, wooden houses, gardens. Now we're coasting along one of lanes past houses with fences that border their lawns. A woman on one of the porches sees me being carried along by the floating mattress. I see the surprise in her face and wave at her. She waves back. A little further we pass a father and son in a garden between the road and their small house -- the father tries to grab the mattress but his hand seems to pass through the material. All I feel is a kind of ripple. The mattress responds by rising just out of the man's reach. Meanwhile the boy is watching with astonishment. Now we gain altitude -- the town becomes smaller and smaller while the countryside around it expands. And I wake up feeling great joy.
Jim is an American living in Holland since 1977. He likes Bach, Dostoevsky, Garrison Keillor, long walks and bike rides. He's also a writer and, by avocation, a photographer. Nancy, also an American living in Holland, likes irises, cooking, walking on the beach in any kind of weather, Monteverdi's Vespers of the Blessed Virgin and is coincidentally married to Jim. She is a translator and occasional writer. One of Nancy's kidneys migrated to Jim's body in the Fall of 2007 and has lived there happily ever since. That adventure gave rise to our first online journal, A Tale of Two Kidneys -- see link below. The first blog, with its special focus, has now given birth to this one, with a more wide-spread agenda. It's a means of sharing something of our pilgrimage, and the thoughts it inspires, with family, friends and whoever drops by.