lost horizon

There's a place I keep going back to in dreams. It is a land between two ranges of hills, the sea to the north, the sea to the south, and a complex pattern of creeks and ponds and lakes threading the flat green plains which are not uninhabited but not populous either. I can remember specific parts of this dream geography: a long, narrow apartment under a house on the eastern flank of the western hills where I lived and to which I have since tried to return - though only to recover elements of the library I lost when I moved precipitately away from there. In the shadow of the eastern hills I once, many years before, embarked on an expedition with my youngest sister, in quest of what precisely I cannot now say, if I ever knew; but I remember, as we made our way north through the blue ponds and the green marshes, that we came to a place where the colours bled from the landscape, the features of the map we were on faded to white, surmise replaced navigation . . . in the way of such things I cannot return there except involuntarily, neither will nor desire is enough, and so those parts of the country I have not yet explored remain unknown though I can sometimes sense their contours. Now I think that when I have flying dreams it is always this land that I am flying above; and when I crash, as inevitably I do, it is here that I fall to earth - except that I always wake just before hitting the ground. Where is this place? After a conversation I had yesterday with a friend who lives across the road, during which the question of hypnogeography was raised, and I told him about this place, and he asked me where it is . . . suddenly I thought I knew. And then, just as suddenly, thought I must never say. Even writing this bare outline down here now makes me fear that I will not again be allowed to visit this land between two seas, this green valley amongst low craggy hills, this placeless place, this shangri-la that I feel I know in my bones as much as I do in my dreaming mind.


1 comment:

Mary McCallum said...

As always, both lovely and thought-provoking. Merry Xmas, Martin. Keep blogging ...