I love the ceiling in our apartment; in a way it feels like we live in an old factory when I look at the ceiling and see the uneven surfaces, the rough unpolished cement, the imprints that the wood used for making the ceiling has left behind. I fantasised about living in an old factory when very young, a memory of together with my grandfather visiting the factory where he used to work; when there is no noise from machines, no people, and the space and the rough beauty of brick and wood appears in the evening light entering through big windows mounted high up on the walls – to me there is still something very safe and serene about that image.
Lately, I have had a lot of opportunity to look at the ceiling. I read that it is quite normal for pregnant women to have very vivid dreams and restless sleep towards the end of the pregnancy. My wife falls asleep at once and does not remember her dreams, so instead I seem to have come to take the pregnant woman role (we often complement each other like that) of having trouble falling asleep and seeing intense dreams like I never have done before (that is how it is done in Japanese, we see dreams).
Normally, I often have dreams where I dream that I am dreaming, waking up in the dream from the dream in the dream while still being asleep. But now, in the final month of pregnancy, I have had dreams that are one more layer of dreaming, where I dream that I dream that I am dreaming, waking up in the dream in the dream, recognizing that I was having a dream of dreaming in a dream, all while dreaming in a dream where I am for example traveling on a low flying airplane. It is quite confusing, and when I wake up it takes some time to know if I am really awake or still sleeping.
Waking up and trying to make sense of it all, I have been lying looking at the ceiling while letting the memory of my dreams wander around. And little by little, an image has emerged in the cement. It is the image of a man, smiling softly, holding a doll. It reminds me of a Japanese children’s song about an old watchmaker – why I do not know, but every time I wake up and look at him, I notice how I also start smiling.
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