Sometimes Dreams Are Simpler Than You Think

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!

Bulbowen

Sunset Over Bulbowen - Artist: Fiona Lohrbaecher
Sunset Over Bulbowen – Artist: Fiona Lohrbaecher

by Fiona Lohrbaecher

The giant Bulbowen was as high as the sky and as old as the hills.  For him years were as seconds, centuries as minutes, millenia as hours.  When he walked the earth shook and when it rained his footprints filled with water to make lakes.

One day, after years of walking, Bulbowen grew tired.  He had walked from one side of the earth to another and was weary.  He sat down, yawning and stretching.  He lay down on his back and closed his eyes.  The warm summer breeze caressed his eyelids and whispered lullabies in his ears, weaving a warm blanket of sleep around him.  For years Bulbowen slept.  For centuries he slumbered.  And as he slept the wind blew dust across him.  Year upon year, layer upon layer, the dust grew thicker and thicker, turning into soil. Birds dropped seeds on Bulbowen and, watered to life by the gentle rain, plants grew, spreading out their roots to hold the soil in place.

Millenia passed and, eventually, people came to the area.  They noticed the shape of the mountain; its outline resembling the silhouette of a sleeping giant.  They named the mountain Bulbowen, after the great giant of ancient legend.

The first people hunted on Bulbowen’s slopes, sleeping under trees or in bark shelters, moving on when the weather grew cold.  After many centuries they started building houses and farming in the flat land around the mountain.  A village grew up.  Children went to school.  People were born, grew old and died, all in Bulbowen’s shadow.  They took their recreation on the mountain, walking in its cool forests, skiing in winter and mountain climbing, although nobody ever climbed the highest peak, known as Bulbowen’s nose.  Legend promised disaster to anyone that tried.

Then, one day, the earth began to move.  The first tremors were small, barely discernible.  Windows rattled, crockery clattered, pebbles danced on the ground.  The quakes increased in intensity.  Buildings shook, trees bent and swayed in an eerie dance.  The people were frightened.  They ran out of their houses, workshops and schools.  The ground was moving violently beneath their feet now.  Boulders bounced down the side of the mountain and trees slid down in flurries of earth.  People grabbed their most treasured possessions and ran for their lives, across the plain, away from the mountain but still the rocks bounced around them and the tremors could be felt for miles.  They ran and did not stop running until they were sure they were quite, quite safe.

The mountain shook and heaved.  Every tree toppled and tobogganed down its slopes.  Great landslides were stripping the mountainsides bare.  Slowly, slowly the mountain changed shape.  It seemed to spread out for miles, then great tranches of land stretched up to the sky.  The top half of the mountain rose skywards as the giant Bulbowen rose to a sitting position, stretching and yawning.  He looked around him in mild surprise at the ruined houses, the fallen trees, that lay around him.  Then he rose to his feet, shook the last remnants of soil from his hair and beard and continued his walk.

When the people returned to rebuild their ruined houses they found a vast new lake where their mountain had been.  A new layer of fertile soil was spread across their farmland and hundreds of fallen trees lay scattered around to be used for the rebuilding.  So the people changed from skiing to water-skiing, and their recreation pursuits all centered on the lake.  They swam, fished, boated and wind-surfed in the vast body of water they called Bulbowen’s Bath.

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