I am in a huge and expansive arts centre/cinema/cathedral, in ancient Monfalcone. It's Monfalcone so it must be the Valentinis disco, where all my school friends used to go when I was 16. and although we were in the same school it was unreachable, a world apart. But it's more than that. Other unreachable things are all around.
We have come as buddhists or students to do a course and are here for a while in accomodation on the centre's grounds. I can't remember if it's with Soka Gakkai or as students of the UWC that we are here, but the accomodation is simple and functional, but I can tell that we are in a cheaper more day to day part of what houses much more valuable people than us. We are all teenagers and young adults.
The course has now come to an end. I remember the rooms and the shared bathrooms, all very clean and well kept. I look out the window down the huge stone block walls worthy of an Inca city or Egyptian pyramid, and far down below I see some limousines taking some important guests away after their own stay here. Their design is fascinating, even after the dream is over, posh leather padded, 1940s style limousines - very original in their design. Like what would take a film star around in Terry Gilliam's Brazil. I vaguely remember a large cinema hall, and a departure ceremony once our course is ended and we have all passed and completed and feel very good about it all. Now we have free time, and tomorrow morning we leave.
My mum and dad are at the ceremony. Of course, as teachers there. We ate together at the dinner. Another student was here with her child, and is worrying about who will babysit, and I offer to get in touch with her later and go and switch and take care of her toddler son later after having been out for a bit. We exchange mobile phone numbers, or did she have it already?
Then I go out, and step out of the centre/temple to a huge flight of stairs leading down the pyramid to the ground far below. A storm brews further along, and a river cuts across a short way from the pyramid's side. Somewhere around here must be my "friends". Just like when I was a teenager, I can't actually find these "friends". They are in the next disco - "the Mantovani", which must lie across that river. I make my way down among small openings in the pyramid face with dramatic fires, the whole scene and valley below like from a Mummy epic. Other people from the course discernible in the distance, making their way down. A blonde northern or eastern european guy is one of these, and we get chatting about the course, and he is able to climb huge rocks, jumping down with great flexibility but I make my way around.
We run into a cross between an old friend from Glasgow or the UWC and that woman from the mummy returns. At times we are one person, and at times I am separate, looking on. I say - the rains are coming, from there - and point over the river, but she gets us going through a path she knows, and gets us through a tunnel to a fork in the river's path. We lie at the edge of the tunnel opening, side by side. She is telling me about a 1950s housing developer when the alarm goes.
I bumped into Jim Cowan by accident when I was in london last, and I told him I wanted to switch careers and do something in the field of creative arts. I want to devote myself to work as an artist, working as an arts director or be an arts coordinator for a vibrant arts centre. I also don't want to give up IT work and research. It's jungian to think that the centre/temple is a part of me - it's there inside, but I don't think I'm worthy to live in it and access all it's areas.
Jim answered "Don't limit yourself to what you think people will want and what you think will make money - go for exactly what you want to do". I have to keep that at the top of my list.