Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lake Como and the Miniature Elephants

When we opened the shutters in our hotel room at the Hotel G.L.A.V.J.C. on Lake Como we first gasped, and then laughed as we just couldn't take in the absolute glory of the view from the window:

As with all the hotels except the one in Rome, (our Rome hotel was the Sheraton, pre-booked on a fantastic deal found by Silverback) we were driving past and just liked the look of it.
We liked it even more when we saw it from the lakeside - - our room was one of these, below, hence the view:

But there's a quirk in my brain (some would say there are quite a few quirks and this is just one of them!) that means that when I'm in a wonderful place, with great company, happy - - - something in me goes no, this isn't for you, you don't deserve this.

During the day I am very much a glass-half-full, everything-will-be-fine person: I genuinely believe that it will be - often I arrogantly think that, if I care enough - and I usually do - then I will make it so!

Night time is a different story though. One of the themes that troubles me most is that I am not looking after those I care about well enough. Any disturbing dreams are generally centred around this subject. Often, in my dream it's an animal I'm not looking after properly - - - but when I wake, I know it's my loved ones I'm thinking of.

And this brought me to the miniature elephants.

In the room with the stunning view over Lake Como, I dreamed that there were some snakes that needed to be fed, and that hadn't been fed, and it was my job to feed them: they were all very thin and I felt bad about it.

The snakes would usually be fed on dead, frozen mice. (Olli used to have a snake and this was indeed the case).

But, sadly, the pet shop had run out of mice. Instead, they gave me a bag of miniature elephants and I was to feed the snakes with these.

The elephants were only about four inches long. They were in a polythene bag, lying sideways on top of each other. I was to take out the top one and feed it to one of the snakes.

But they weren't frozen. They were still alive, lying still, awaiting their fate.

As I reached in to take out the top one, it caught my eye and blinked. The look in its eye was of deep resignation and of deep, deep sadness. Unbearable.

All the sadness in all the world, it seemed to me.

"I'm surprised you go to sleep at all," commented Silverback when I told him and Stephen about the dream, over breakfast the next morning.

That morning we drove to the town of Como and went for a boat ride on the lake: an hour of sheer enjoyment and stunning views:

By the end of it, I'd blotted out the image of the elephant with as many as possible of the lake.

Not entirely, though - I think it's a dream that I will remember forever, made all the more poignant because it happened on such a lovely holiday, in such a beautiful place.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

What did Silverback slip in your drink that night by Lake Como? When it comes to drugs - just say NO!

7:37 pm  
Anonymous ruth said...

Oh dear, I wish I hadn't read your blog now, instead of in the morning. I'm scared I will dream of miniature not frozen elephants tonight. I hope I dream of the stunning views you have shared in this post.

Perhaps I will combine the two, with the song 'Pink elephants on parade' from Dumbo as background music. (Find it here )

8:40 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I am thoroughly enjoying this, my first trip to Italy, through your blogging and your photos and Silverback's as well.

What does G.L.A.V.J.C. stand for?

What a vivid dream, Daphne! To put a different twist on its meaning, maybe we readers of your blog are the snakes, and the miniature elephants are these posts about Italy you plan to share with us. They are food indeed.

2:01 pm  

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