Sometimes I wonder what my dreams are trying to tell me. Or what they are trying to hide. Earlier this week I found myself leaving a house where I had been visiting friends and walking back to where my car was parked – through a vast architectural folly that included, for example, the Copenhagen Church of the Sea, which was a low, ornate stone building with a Mesoamerican feel, resembling some of the more extravagant conceptions of Walter Burley Griffin. This was at the beginning of a wander through a stupendous, largely deserted labyrinth which would have needed a Piranesi, or perhaps a De Quincy, adequately to describe. And, it turned out, was actually a kind of Exhibition Centre built for some Anniversary or Convention or other International Event we were hosting. It was night, of course, and I never did find my car; but did learn that this agglomeration had actually been lowered, like a mushroom of stone, over the site of the suburb of Paddington, which was thus somewhere, still intact, beneath my feet. It was nearly dawn when I came out the other side and there saw, far below and to the west, lit by a yellow light, the rest of the city of Sydney stretching all the way to the Blue Mountains.
A couple of nights later I attended a party at which I mingled with many old friends from different periods of my life stretching right back to hippie days of the early 1970s. At some point I went out the back, onto a high green slope of lawn that fell away on all sides into gullies full of trees, such as are common in parts of Auckland. And here on that slope, amongst friends old and new, I remembered that I knew how to fly. I mean, not only did I stretch up my arms above my head and leave the green earth behind; at the same time I recalled the myriad other occasions when I have done the same. This was not one of those flying dreams where you hurtle through the air like the man of steel; it was more like the great suspended leaps of those men who in the 1970s went to the moon; gentle and effortless and utterly intoxicating. I looked down upon the park-like space below me and saw my friends applauding. I drifted up the slope and felt the soft air whisper past my ears. Best of all I knew that, having remembered how to fly, I would never again forget. And then, of course, I woke up.