Mount Tam, full name, Mount Tamalpais, is part of the Marin Hills. Twenty-six hundred feet high, it won’t awe with its rise about the land the way that Mounts Hood and Shasta do, or McLaughlin. I knew abut it from living in the SF Bay area and Peninsula for fourteen years. We’d read about it, and visited twice, maybe three times, during our local explorations.
Didn’t stop me from dreaming about it. First came name confusion. I was being told to go to Mt. Tam. Mt. Tam? Yes, Mt. Tam. We exercised some Laurel & Hardy exchanges about what was being said. I’d quickly reached the point where I understood that I was being told to go to Mt. Tam. My point, which I struggled to convey with little humor, was, why do I need to go to Mt. Tam? But they — the unseen folks I was speaking to, but who sounded and seemed male — were fixated on ensuring that I understood the place’s name without clarifying why going there was important. The back and forth eventually felt as painful as a bad tooth.
They gradually led me to believe there is something in Mt. Tam, the something never being explained, continuing my stretch of exasperation. I’m supposed to go to Mt. Tam to get something that’s there that I’ll know what it is when I get there. Seems significantly vague.
Then, going over the dream, I wonder, was Mt. Tam a literal destination being directed to me from my dream masters or a metaphor for matters churning through my subconscious? Bonus discussion points, for me, anyway: how much of this dream was influenced by The Overstory, as I’m currently reading that. For that matter, how much is generated from wrestling with the novel in progress?