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Book Chapter

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Department 1



When you awoke from the dream, in your early thirties, you knew, as you’ve never known anything else in all your seventy-plus years, that what you’d found was real. The dream began with you sitting in a church, head bowed in prayer. Your eyes opened slowly, and you noticed that you were wearing brilliantly colored, beaded moccasins. You stood abruptly, pushed open the mahogany gate that separated the pew from the center aisle of the church, and began to run. The dream then proposed a seemingly endless and entirely quotidian set of difficulties in The City, and led eventually to an arduous climb through a pathless woods, where you passed an unfinished house—framed out but not yet sided—and where (after how many false sightings of the summit?) you squeezed with great difficulty between two tall boulders, and suddenly emerged on the edge of a wondrous canyon. Below you flowed a wide, glistening river, and in the center of the river, partly submerged, sat a throne-like granite armchair. You awoke to the rest of your life with a gasp, exhilarated by the shimmering iridescence of the water in the dream and tantalized by the mystery of the chair. You have looked for that river ever since. [excerpt]

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