by Fiona Lohrbaecher

640px-Escalators_Canary_WharfI’ve always been fascinated by the hidden language of dreams, those subtle psychological promptings of the subconscious. I used to read books on decoding their mysticism and slept with a dream diary by my bed. I looked forward to sleeping, to wandering rapt through that wyrd and whimsical world where anything is possible. Upon waking I wrote the images down before they melted in my mind like candyfloss in the mouth; substance gone, leaving only a sweet taste and a vague remembrance. A lost world, a lost paradise.

Recurring dreams in particular intrigued me; what was the deep, important message my psyche was trying to communicate? For years I was troubled by one particular dream. I was in a large shopping mall, a maze-like complex, trying to find the basement food court where a delicious array of vegetarian Thai food awaited me. But, as is the nature of dreams, I never could find it. I wandered up and down staircases, along corridor upon corridor, never reaching my heart’s desire.

I agonised over the meaning of this dream, never interpreting it satisfactorily. I knew that a house represented the mind; the different floors the different levels of being and consciousness. I wondered why I was always wandering to the basement, rather than trying to work my way upwards. For years the true meaning of my dream eluded me, slipping through my fingers like a handful of melting ice-cream.

Three years ago we set off on a big tour of the mainland. We set sail from Tassie, hit the north island and headed west. It was ten years since we’d last been in Western Australia, our original landfall in the Great Southern Land.

Re-exploring Perth with the children, lunchtime came around. We were in the mall. I remembered that the Carillon Shopping Centre had a good food court. We entered the large multi-storeyed shopping centre. A maze of corridors and levels confronted us. We took the escalator down, wandered along several corridors, a wrong turn here, a right turn there, descended another staircase, negotiated several more confusing corridors and finally found the food court. And there was the vegetarian Thai food stall. I stopped dead. A bell rang in my head. It’s a cliché but emotion really did well up in my chest and threaten to choke me. A lump rose in my throat and my breathing was fast and shallow. This was it! This was the place of my dreams, the food court that I had spent 10 years longing for and dreaming of!

And I realised then and there that sometimes our dreams are a lot simpler than we think; sometimes the message really is as simple as it looks, not a cryptic array of hieroglyphics waiting to be translated, overanalysed. And that the message of my dream, the clear, undisputable message was: that I have a deep and strong spiritual connection – with food!