Sometimes the whole of me is like a crowded bus in motion, all passengers wanting to get somewhere else, somewhere better, somewhere different, all of them not quite happy where they are. There’s a lot of sighing, and “if only-ing”, and “Ma, how many minutes till we get there?” going on. There is a lack of clarity and consensus among my inner passengers and the poor driver is exhausted. There’s a restless, itchy quality about being on the bus.
Buses have been a significant mode of transport for me, literally and figuratively. I’ve been sitting still and paying attention to the quality of movement and feel of the bus and recently, in a dream, I got off. The bus broke down and couldn’t get me where I’m going. So, I ran and made my way over to the train station, and I notice I am in Temuco, the Southern Chilean city of my childhood.
Chile is a long and narrow land of contrasts. It hugs the southernmost Andes for more than 2,700 miles (4,300 kilometers)—that’s about the distance between San Francisco and New York, or Edinburgh and Baghdad—and it spans a terrain that includes the driest desert in the world—Atacama—way up North, all the way down to Patagonia, and to the icy tip of the world in Tierra del Fuego. Legend has it that when God finished creating the world, he had a bunch of leftover odds and ends, and that Chile was formed when he dusted off his hands of all those mountains, lakes, volcanoes, deserts, glaciers, and climates.
In my dream I board this train that runs along the edge of the world, where land hugs ocean and where conscious meets unconscious. And from my seat I can see clearly what lies behind, while moving most certainly forward into unseen. I have a sense of where I’m going but can see none of the details. I boarded this train and want to be here, and yet the movement is out of my hands. And so I sit and watch with interested curiosity even while I am moved I know not exactly where. It’s all very exciting and it most definitely beats the bus, without which, I might add, I would not have ended up on this train.
How about you… what modes of transport show up in your dreams these nights and what curious things do you observe about yourself and how you’re moving through life?