For more years than I ever thought to count, the same dream came to me. I am no more sure when first I dreamt the dream than I can ascertain when the dream ceased. I know it was still coming to me after I met Stephanie, often enough that I mentioned it to her more than once.
I had the feeling from the first dreaming that I knew that house back in my hometown in West Virginia, and thought it might even be the old Wickline place, even though the many wooden steps climbing up the side of the hill to get to the house never appeared as such.
But the short flight of broad steps up to the front porch always led me to the front door. Inside, at the far end of the room on the right, in my first dream and several after that, an old woman I never recognized stood behind a sort of lectern. On the lectern was a large book. The book was open, and she was looking at one of the pages.
Every time I had the dream she was there with the book open, and would look at me just a second before the dream ended.
Little by little, over what must have been ten or twelve years, I had approached closer to her by the end of the dream, and it seemed inevitable that sooner or later I would be right beside her. When that happened, I was sure, I would be able to see whatever she was looking up from at me, and if it was text, I would be able to read it.
During the last several dreams, I was up close and just about to turn my head and see the page. But that never happened. Once in a while Stephanie would remember I had told her about the dreams, and was curious if it got any further. But the dreams just stopped, years before she died.
Now that I think about it again, I wonder if Stephanie was the woman, the one with the answers, and she was waiting for me to get it. I feel we knew each other, even before I met her . She had a lot to teach me. First in music, and then in Transcendental Meditation, and finally in living with the knowledge of her impending death, in a kind of poetic calm I hope I can emulate when my turn comes.
– Part of a collection of pieces Patrick sent me on 11 August 2015 called You Never Know.