No Place Like Home - The Dream Language of Oz by Karin Taylor

’There’s no place like home.’
‘If I only had a heart, a brain, some courage’.

Do these phrases bear any significance for us and if so, is it feasible that a journey ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ holds the key to unlocking the mysteries of life and leading us home?

Cinema-going was an uncommon treat when I was young. My first experience, when friends and I went to see The Wizard of Oz. Enthralled by the abundance of shimmering imagery on-screen, I went along for the ride and somehow ended up in Oz through the magic of movie-making. Young hearts yearned to go there real-time and live under the guidance of Glinda the Good Witch, the equivalent of all fairy fantasies wrapped up in one delicate pink tulle gown. Bottoms glued to seats under cover of darkness, we savoured every moment as the drama played out.

Upon closer scrutiny, the hazy mist of childhood dreams subsides and the idea dawns on me that I’ve been looking for that same elusive place ever since. With directions like ‘……somewhere over the rainbow….’ and an ‘F’ in Geography, let’s just say, getting there won’t be easy.

Thirty years on and I’ve deliberated over this with new insight, finding it possible to correlate Dorothy’s quest with the journey of my own life. It turns out that to find home, perhaps one needs to combine heart, courage * and *_wisdom_ as the co-ordinates to find our way there and back. Here’s where the childhood myth of Oz morphs into an adult tale of mystical proportions.

Co-ordinate of Heart – an inseparable element of the journey. What are the heart qualities one should hope to see manifest? Gentleness, openness and honesty would be a good start, mix in some x-ray vision to help see through rough exteriors into the inner man. The ideal heart won’t be swayed by petty jealousy and rivalry, it’s development bittersweet, the beat growing stronger with every adversity through the school of hard knocks

The Witch cruelly suggests Tin Man’s heart has been spirited away, but in truth, his poor heart was substantially battered and bruised, transporting him far further along the road home than he at first realises.

Co-ordinate of Courage – played out in the determination to strive for what you believe in, giving the ‘heave-ho’ to discouragement and self-doubt, overcoming fear and concern about what others think. Exhibiting strength of character and becoming a voice for those without scope for expression. Having courage to change, making brave and unpopular decisions, taking the road less travelled – these things should not be overlooked. In retrospect, life affords us plenty of opportunities for the development of courage. Heroic intentions not only benefit one’s self, but inspire and motivate others. Courage is cultivated through each conscious decision to step outside our comfort zone. We don’t get far without it.

Lion came a long way on his journey from being scared of his own shadow to having great confidence in himself as King of the Jungle. Lion was not lacking courage, but insight into the human condition…unaware that feeling scared and apprehensive is at times, part and parcel of life. Courage is only a step away from fear at any time.

Co-ordinate of Wisdom – the most difficult and elusive of them all! Some have easy access to it, while others must strive for it. Wisdom is the ability to separate fact from fiction, to make sound decisions after weighing up all possible outcomes

Destination Home – a different entity for everyone. Some suggest it’s purely habitat or memories from childhood…others feel at home wherever they stop for juice. For me, home is actually a concept, not tangible. It’s the fulfillment of wholeness, a solid understanding of one’s self, the capacity for resilience, and consistency in humility, ie knowing one’s true and rightful place in the scheme of all things and having the good sense to stay there.

1. Dorothy’s dissatisfaction with farmlife shifted significantly when she listened to a stranger who changed her perception and gave her new insights. It is worthwhile visiting problems from all angles to provide the best possible overview and help us make wise decisions.

2. Scarecrow was intelligent but the farmer took it for granted that he didn’t have a brain. What Scarecrow lacked was wisdom, closely followed by self esteem. If he’d realised he already had the wisdom to match his intellect, he may have saved himself a lot of turmoil by discerning that the farmer had simply made a hasty assumption. It is wise to be cautious in making or listening to assumption made about ourselves and others. Dorothy herself praised the Scarecrow saying that she felt he seemed just as wise, before the Wizard of Oz had gifted him with wisdom (wikepedia)

3. The Wizard was a grave disappointment, not really possessing great magical powers, he nonetheless became a sage by performing the incredible feat of helping these odd-bods find themselves. Through his considerable wisdom, he was able to shed light on the plight of the four pilgrims.

Conclusion – perhaps heart, courage and wisdom need to be combined, interwoven for maximum effect. They might be seen as our co-ordinates for pinpointing our ultimate destination, home. The journey may fall short of the desired location if we pursue one without the other. I assume Dorothy somehow sensed this and in order to reach her goal she engaged the attributes and virtues she’d need along the way in the unlikely forms of Tin Man for _heart, Lion for courage , Scarecrow for wisdom and The Wizard for insight perhaps into all three. Dorothy’s dream powerfully dramatised her subconscious thought and brought her full circle back home.

Dreams are more than just simple imaginings,they have great potential. Not unlike envelopes marked ‘return to sender’, they contain messages for us that can be guideposts to buried concerns, listen to them and travel *home* with certainty.

Finally, miracles are rarely instantaneous, those of us who seek them do well to prepare for the bumpy ride over the rainbow and back home.

‘The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering the attitude of mind’ (William James 1842-1910)

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I wrote this a while ago with the intention of starting a new series of paintings on the Wizard of Oz….the idea is still there… I hope to begin a new painting/series soon on the subject.

What I have written here, is the unfolding of the research work on my subject…it is important that I gain a deep understanding or insight into my subject, as well as preparing the visual side of things, i like to get a feel for it spiritually, or at least have an empathy with/for my subject/s.

I read different editions of the story itself, and look at as many different illustrations as possible, rewatch the movie a few times, and listen to any music associated with it…for example the tracks from the movie, as well as things like Elton John’s and Katie Noonan’s versions of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and eminem’s Yellow Brick Road and Raine Maida – Yellow Brick Road and anything else i can find associated with the imagery of the story…

Somewhere over the Rainbow by Judy Garland
Somewhere over the Rainbow Eva Cassidy
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Kamakawiwo
Fields of Gold Eva Cassidy


no place like home the dream language of oz by karin taylor

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  • Bubble Doll
    Bubble Dollover 6 years ago

    It’ll be awesome to see this topic created into a series of paintings! (^^)

  • oh thank you so much bubbles, i am very honoured that you stopped to have a look and comment, i am deep in thought on the subject right now :)

    – © Karin Taylor

  • Bubble Doll
    Bubble Dollover 6 years ago


  • pinkyjain
    pinkyjainover 6 years ago

    This is beautiful Karin, one of my favorite stories & movie. It will be wonderful to see your paintings. Will be tremendous. This was wonderful to read, so much research put into this. Fantastic.
    Another song, & i’m not really sure how it relates to Oz, but the title is “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Kamakawiwo ’ole.

  • thanks very much pinky, i will definitely look into this song too
    as well as Eva Cassidy’s rendition of it which is truly beautiful
    i appreciate you reading this and your encouragement so much :)

    – © Karin Taylor

  • pinky, thank you so much for reminding me of this beautiful song, i have just ‘utubed’ it and memories come flooding back, i have heard it before……i will be listening to it a lot from now on….thx sweetie :)

    – © Karin Taylor

  • Ginny Schmidt
    Ginny Schmidtover 6 years ago

    For me, home is where my cat is.

  • oh yes, can relate to that Ginny :)

    – © Karin Taylor

  • Robin Pushe'e
    Robin Pushe'eover 6 years ago

    Wonderful Karin, Great Idea and inspirational…I still watch it every year when it comes on.. Hee hee.. One of my childhood faves.

  • Thank you so much for reading this Robin, and your lovely comments, it’s a special story :)

    – © Karin Taylor

    BLYTHARTover 6 years ago

    Very wise words and extremely well written Karin.

  • thank you very much for taking the time to read it and comment, i very much appreciate your words :)

    – © Karin Taylor

  • frozenfa
    frozenfaover 6 years ago

    interesting insights into the story, Karin~ =D
    i couldn’t remember much of the story, but reading your research really makes it sound much more interesting! =D I think it’s great to write down your thought on a topic which you gonna focus your work in.. Looking forward to the new themed pieces.. but no pressure at all k! dun let anyone pressurize you, k! =D

  • lol thank you fa…
    just my own interpretation ..not everyone’s cup of tea, and not everyone will have experienced the story as I did… would depend on where you were in life’s journey at the time you saw it I believe…….this is just my process to draw me nearer to my goal of creating some new artwork

    – © Karin Taylor

  • Jakki O
    Jakki Oover 6 years ago

    Great writing Karin, I love the Wizard of Oz. Can’t wait to see what you create, it will be magical.

  • thanx Jakki…i’m excited to make a start…
    i have some ‘me’ time coming up soon and looking forward to it :)

    – © Karin Taylor

  • Emilie R
    Emilie Rover 6 years ago

    Hi Karin,

    It is so strange that you posted this, 2 days earlier I was watching it…
    and then chitty chitty bang bang

    I dont know if you are familiar with Caroline Myss… she talks about the wizard of oz in her book sacred contracts… pg 171-179.

    Let me know, I can scan it for you and send it..

    I think a poppies piece would be superb with Lion, Toto and Dorothy sleeping..
    She believes it is similar to Jesus in Gethsemane when he took his 12 apostles to the garden and they went to sleep

  • Hi Emily,

    oh wow, i’ve had this simmering for a few years, it went off the boil but came back to me in the last couple of days….until i got this burning desire to revisit it all…that is amazing Emily, that you too have just been watching it. I am not familiar with Caroline Myss, but i think i would find it very valuable reading….I am very open to anyone elses’ interpretations as i know it will stretch me further and enhance my understanding. I would love it if you could scan it for me Emily, that would be wonderful. I have an alternative gmail address i can give you for sending it to. I once thought of doing the field of poppies, and yes it does remind one of the apostles falling asleep on Jesus… the ideas that i have for the pix are going to be rather unusual tho, not too traditional, so they may not be to everyone’s liking, but I’m so looking forward to getting started….i think i’ll draw up all the pics first, and paint them after, that way I’ll be able to get a flow from one to the next….it won’t actually follow the story so much, as depict certain aspects that appeal to me and my twisted brain :)
    thx so much, Karin xo

    – © Karin Taylor

  • Emilie R
    Emilie Rover 6 years ago

    it is so strange…cause i have been thinking of doing my photography like those old movies.. i thought of wizard of oz,… but then i went to chitty chitty bang bang.. i think its easier since i have access to old cars..
    yeah send me your gmail..

    i will try and scan tonight.. my husband is the techie

    love em xxx

  • hi emily,
    i love your new profile pic by the way
    just whenever you get a chance, there’s no hurry
    how do you get access to those beautiful old cars
    I’m wondering? hugs k xo

    – © Karin Taylor

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