Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Mosaic Lion

I dreampt that I was visiting a small town in Italy that was tucked in a niche in the base of a volcanic outcrop, sort of a cross between a dike and a volcanic neck. The outcrop formed a pinnacle in the center and two ridges of the same very dark brown rock swooped down to the plain from which the outcrop protruded at a wide angle, curving ever-so-slightly as if to contain something as they dissapeared beneath the yellow, dusty plain.

And there, between the arms of the outcrop, lay the plaza of the town. And it was not just any plaza, but a plaza made up of many colored bricks that made up a huge, rather realistic mosaic of a proud lion standing in left profile, tail twitched in front of its left haunch, head turned slightly towards the viewer.

The niche in the outcrop, and its little town faced the plaza, faced the lion that was turning to look at it.

And I sat at an outdoor table in that town with my true love, sampling tiny, bitter pickles that were the specialty of the town, as our waiter, who wore clothes with faint, small vertical bands of maroon and brown of varying width and a crumpled looking white apron, explained that eating a lot of these pickles would make us sick, and could be fatal. I told him not to worry, we would be careful, and I awoke.

Is the message of the dream temperance and moderation? Is it more about accepting your situation and nature? Is it about enjoying where you are? Is the lion a pagan symbol alone, or is it symbolic of the watchfulness of Christ, whom I associate with the lion? Why does the lion face the little town, and the pinnacle, and not the plain?

Perhaps this last question I can answer, in a practical way: the lion is posed for someone on the pinnacle, or in a building within its niche to view it.

Perhaps the lion is not concerned with those who might assault the town, but with the welfare of its residents.

Perhaps the theme of the dream is care: caring for yourself and others, being careful, and taking care to appreciate where you are, and who you are with.

Or maybe there is a message in the way the earth in the form of the outcrop, the lion; a symbol of faith, and the town all form an integrated whole, working together to form a place which people can call home.

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