Sunday, November 4, 2007

Life in a Dome

A friend recently pointed out a strange phenomenon in my books. In all of them the people live in some sort of underground/cave/dome/cabin. As she said, "What's up with that?" And I was forced to admit, "I don't know."

She accused me of being a secret hobbit. (My editor would specify a blue hobbit.) Perhaps she's right.

I suffer from claustrophobia so perhaps it's my way of coping with that. See? Small spaces are really okay...

The more I think about it, the more I'm puzzled by it. What is this strange attraction I have for caves and underground spaces? I teased her by telling her it was a metaphor for the womb, but that could be close to the truth. Safety. Peace. Quiet. Don't we all long for those things?

It isn't only in books. As claustrophobic as I am in stores and malls and other huge spaces, I love caverns. Yesterday I mentioned Carlsbad Caverns, but that was just one of many caves I've explored. I would be happy living in a cave. So I suppose a dome provides the best of both worlds. Temperature control with a cave-like ambiance.

Most of my life I lived in flat places. Realllly flat. Then we moved to upstate New York and I discovered caves and the man-made equivalent. There is much speculation about the many rock shelters that are scattered around the Hudson Valley. Several books have been written about them and their possible origins. For the first time in my live I felt a sense of homecoming when I walked into the first one I found.

My personal belief system doesn't include reincarnation, but I do believe that certain memories are ingrained in our genetic code. Was that what I was experiencing? As long as I lived in New York, there were certain places that I felt kinship with. They were always dark woodsy areas with ancient stone walls weaving among the trees. Whenever I would catch a glimpse of that type of area a distant chord of familiarity would chime.

Baltimore, where I live now, is very hilly, but it doesn't stike that same chord. I have traveled all over the United States through a lot of mountainous terrain, but no other mountains have quite the same feel to them. No other caves or stone huts or rock walls call to me like those in the Hudson Valley. So perhaps there is a primal memory at work. Maybe that's why domes and caves and underground dwellings call to me.

I don't know. But I'll be thinking about it. A lot.


Don't forget to check in at Kelly's blog for her Sunday Quote at and then go on over to Amarinda's Place where she will discuss a variety of topics that Kelly suggested for my blog. Since I declined them...well drop by and see what Amarinda makes of them. Blessings on your day!


  1. I write alot about my heroines eating chocolate, Tim Tams, cheescake - these food groups call to me like the caves call to you. And maybe I fear chocolate so I make sure my heroines devour a lot of it to show who's in control. See, I can be bloody existential.

  2. If I had known my little observation would create such internal unrest I would have kept it to myself. Bad Kelly.

    On the other hand, perhaps you distrust man-made enclosed spaces as they are destructable and temporary, but caves go on for centuries. Okay, here's my stretch for the day, Like earth mother hugging you. (now I must go barf for suggesting it)

  3. How can a memory become part of your genetic code if you haven't been here before to make the memory?

    It's just too sad if this is the only life I'll ever have. Instead I prefer to think that I had too much fun the last few and am now being punished for it.

  4. One of my favorite memories of Gatlinburgh, TN in 1985 was a domed Foam House we could tour. It was supposedly the 'Home of the Future'...but haven't seen any so far! Don't think it's there anymore...

    However, there is a white, double-domed church in town, that everyone refers to as the 'Dolly Parton church':) Haven't been inside to see it.