I dreamed the most marvelous thing!
An oak cabinet, about the size of a dining room credenza, opening up wide to a scene of such perfect and intricate detail, like the very finest miniature house, but with mechanical and electrical devices that worked, and the perfectly sculpted tiny people in it. Each cabinet was built to a literary or historic or purely imaginary theme. The hand-carved oak details glowed with warmth and welcome… and even as I write, the dream fades as dreams do, and I lose the specifics–but I remember what it was, and I can imagine…
I imagine a cabinet of my son’s workshop. (This isn’t meant as an advert, but he does have a site here on WordPress called The Fire Thieves Studio.)
His ‘cabinet’ in my imagination has shelves of supplies, of teddy bears and post-apocalyptic and steampunk and just plain peculiar odds and ends, and racks of distressed garments. There is another corner where he builds theater props, there hangs an ungainly, 4-foot tall black crow puppet, and on their own shelves, a cardboard cathedral, and a weasel next to a giant Twinkie… There is a barrel full of boffer swords and halberds and such, and a big box of branches and twigs above which little twig-creatures, puppets and poppets hang from the ceiling like mobiles gently moving in the air… There is a tiny vacu-forge in another corner, in full tiny operation… And of course, there is a tiny figure of himself, hard at work at a workbench beside a window that opens onto a mountainous Colorado landscape. The light changes as the day passes from morning to night to morning, and as the weather changes, maybe even as the seasons change. That’s how perfectly detailed this cabinet would be, just like the one I dreamed.
I imagine a cabinet of my elder daughter’s closet, with every detail of her Renaissance finery, Celtic dance costuming, and the gem-bright silks of her Silk Road Dance Company time… She dances there in the center, like the ballerina in a jewelry box, and the music is bright and flowing like the silks of Uzbekistan… and her son and daughter dance there along with her, when it is a Celtic number. Her husband can be seen through the window, grilling marvelous things on the patio barbecue.
My younger daughter’s cabinet has several windows. One opens to a changing landscape of New Zealand, the next looks out across the Ribble Valley of England, and the third, to the towering forest of western Washington State… At one side, there are all the accoutrements of a dog-training studio along with her two dogs, a little Lancashire healer, and a gangly big mutt with shepherd and mastiff in him. At the other–all the furnishings and toys of busy toddlers. She is in the center, playing a flute, swaying with the rhythm and melody. Her husband is coming in the door carrying coffees.
Pull back and see: these three cabinets are sections of one, mine.