I’m walking in the Richmond neighborhood, near where my husband, Herbert, and I used to live, but the fancy part, around Lake Street, close to Sea Cliff. Among the grid of city streets and large square houses that fill their lots I see country lanes, tractor ruts in meadows of high grass dotted with wildflowers, and the same massive homes—but spread randomly and far apart like huge pastel blocks strewn across the landscape. I’m delighted at this surprise in a familiar spot and think I must bring Herbert for a walk here. Later the dream translates an actual object I saw the day before: a wheel on the living roof of the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.You turn it and press one of four buttons to hear a bird call – hawk, sparrow, mourning dove, or robin. In the dream my egg-shaped kitchen timer has added options after being turned past 99 minutes: four icons that will make sounds—an angel with a trumpet, the word Buddha, and two more lost when my cat Quin rubs against my head to wake me.
Judith Serin is the author of the poetry collection Hiding in the World, and her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Ohio Journal, Writer’s Forum, Nebraska Review, Colorado State Review, Proposing on the Brooklyn Bridge, and When Last on the Mountain. She presents these pieces with gratitude to Betsy Davids.
Masami Inoue, who also works under the name Masa, is a Japanese-American artist who has lived on both coasts of the United States. Most recently she has been studying and working in the Bay Area, where she and Serin began their collaboration. She creates both digitally and traditionally, focusing on watercolor as her medium.
illustration for the first installment, “Map of Dreams”
About the Series
Judith Serin is a dreamer—a very vivid dreamer—and when we at Broad Street read her work, it sparked a lively conversation. We’re a nonfiction magazine, but who’s to say that dreams, with their jumble of memories and images and things we’ve never seen, aren’t a kind of reality in a world for which we don’t yet have a map?
To say the least, we were intrigued, and we had to think of a way to bring the debate to our readers. What follows is the first installment of what will be a weekly series called Dream Geographies, a collaboration between Serin and artist Masami Inoue. The two came from different backgrounds to meet at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco’s Bay Area, and the project reflects some of their shared landscape.
So here, in anticipation of our print issue “Maps & Legends” (available in May 2016), is “Dream of San Francisco,” by Judith Serin and Masami Inoue. Further pieces will appear each Thursday for the next month.