Please forgive, dear reader, what will be a fanciful tale with many competing themes.

As a young adult I’d jot down little fragments of muse, one in particular that’ would come back to me with some regularity … “At the helm of the Dreamship, Odysseus has time to wonder”. Little doubt this was a cosmic framing intending to rationalize the confusion and indecision of youth, that while one may have captaincy of the journey of life, that one might not know what to do with that command.

Throughout life one has probably engaged in various perceived heroisms, of doing long and hard and far things, things that take one far from home. Eventually though there comes a time where one may desire to return (of just get to) the place where one belongs. Then the seemingly simple journey, the journey home, is undertaken and whoa – it wasn’t supposed to be that hard. Storms, Sirens, enchantresses, serpents, even a Cyclops, such an unimaginable wealth of adversities arise to obstruct the journey! The strategems and navigations and good fortune required to get home may be far larger than ever anticipated.

That we navigate life in a sea of dreams, that the sea itself transcends our expectations and our power, that at most we may be lucky and successful captains of that journey, aye – having a steady dream ship would be a tremendous asset. And so begins the tale.

I sought to build a proper bed frame. Post and beam I thought, for such is a redoubtable architecture. I purchased two 20 foot red oak 6×6’s. One I had ripped into 3 x 6’s and then halved each to have rails. The other I cross sectioned into 3 and 4 foot columns and mortised in such a manner that the rails could fit, roughly a six foot by six foot platform. I envisioned joists spanning the rails, purchased five 2 x 6’s for the purpose, as well as sheets of 5/8″ plywood and 1/4 inch masonite to act as decking. A stout base indeed. For the head and foot boards I went into the countryside just east of Augusta where an old couple who made maple syrup also cut and sold lumber. From them I bought four 2 x 10 x 5/4 x 8′ red oak boards. That was in 2020. The project came to a stall with COVID and because it was hard to get the rails to fit the mortises as one person and my methods for cutting the tenons was juvenile and inferior.

Musing never stops though, nor dreams. Supposedly there is much that can be told by how the brain is resonating at any given time, as well as the variations across time. We do know that when dreaming, theta waves predominate.

Fancy struck, looking at the waves stacked as above, that if the space between each wave (from the bottom up delta, theta, alpha, beta, gamma) were itself a board that one could cut the edges to match examples of the waves, so that the bottom edge of the lowest board of the headboard would have the edge of delta and the top edge of theta, that the second board a bottom edge of theta (matching the top of the bottom board) and a top edge of alpha, and so on. The headboard could be constructed so that the height where one lays ones head is right at theta. Fanciful, yes.

Fancy continued to strike. A dreamship, is it? How will it be powered? Of course it must be powered by wisdom. From whence? Why from whence all wisdom emanates. Where is that? Uh, uh … Athena? Jeez, really? Really. And by what agency will this power be vested? Um, um … Owls! Oh no, really? Really!

I began to recruit wooden owls. I know, I know, is crazy, but sometimes one has to follow an idea to actualization – that’s one reason ideas can be so dangerous.

There were other owls, owls that did not make the cut. The sketch below summarizes the final idea.


By the autumn of 2023 I fully recognized that the execution of this idea was considerably above my woodworking skill level. I was fortunate though in that a world class woodworker had moved to town. He had an open house, his open-mindedness was noteworthy. After talking for a few weeks he agreed to undertake the project. Also around this time there was another excellent woodworker who was retiring, from whom I purchased a wonderful flitch-cut walnut log. This would be relevant because I’d decided that alternating the wood color in the headboard and foot board would accentuate the design.

The magical realism element of all this bears some note. So how does a dreamship of this nature actually work? First one lays ones head on the pillow. So far so good. Then, or soon thereafter, or eventually, if it’s destined, one will begin to dream. This is like turning the ignition of a car. Vroom, vroom – the owls awake! We know that they’re in constant conversation both with each other and with their patron Athena. The theta waves produced by the dreamer are their fuel. Step on the gas and, because we know that dreams are trans-dimensional, of course the ship can fly through walls, can fly anywhere really, to any imaginable place and through any configuration of dissonances. Vroom vroom! A children’s book could/would be suitable here, “Dreamship Adventures”, but of course the larger and realer picture is that we all do it anyway, navigating to our dreamt-of destinations in life.

I love the actualization, pictured first sans owls.

and then ready to voyage

I feel deeply fortunate, privileged, and thankful to have been able to bring this about. I feel a sense of duty to bring to this marvelous platform dreams and choices within them that befit the wonder of possibility. It may be that the idea of home is less a particular physical destination and more a deep comfort in capacity, that one can navigate to where spirit and desire wisely suggest. This ship may be as the magic feather was to the beloved Dumbo the elephant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *