I woke up in the middle of the night remembering a discussion I had with Veronica, a school friend, on a bus trip sometime during my early teens. “Is time a straight line, an endless cycle of circles, or a spiral?” she asked, drawing invisible lines, circles, and spirals in the air with a sweep of her hand.
It seems an appropriate memory to resurface at this time of year, when we’re all trying to finish things in preparation for holidays, celebrations, and a whole new year. How does it seem to you? Did the year move in a straight line, the present sliding into the past, the future beckoning you forward, or did it feel more cyclical, rolling around with the seasons, revisiting experiences, re-evaluating, readying to go around again for another year? Or is time more like a spiral, as I recall Veronica and I agreeing, where you live a life of cyclical seasons but continuously evolve, so that each returning to the beginning of a cycle is more of a hover from above, an opportunity to look down and review and see how much you’ve changed before spiralling onward –and hopefully upward – for another year.
It felt a deeply and rewardingly philosophical discussion for us as thirteen-year-olds, as I now hover oh-so-many spirals on and wonder what happened to Veronica.
This waking memory was triggered by a dream in which I was processing this very full-on productive year as I try, like you, to put one year to bed and prepare for the new.
In my dream, time was more spiral in nature, and I hovered, seeing the patterns that have led me to now.
At this point in writing this blog, an email rolled in from GoodReads, inviting me to ‘Take a look back at your year in books’. I clicked and there they were, all the books I’d read and remembered to post to GoodReads, which, I have to admit, is a small proportion of the books I actually read. Still, I enjoyed the diversion and immersion in looking back.
The email was quite apt, not only from the point of view of the journey of a year – a straight line, a circle, or a spiral – but because this year has been a year of books for me. During 2017, my publisher, Hachette Australia, decided to publish my book, The Dream Handbook, on 1 February 2018, and then Little Brown UK, decided to publish The Dream Handbook (UK) in hardback, with different cover art, on 22 February next year, under the Piatkus imprint. So my year in books has been flowing beautifully, and I’m looking forward to the February launches.
2017 was also the year of the launch of The Dream Academy, the rolling out of four online courses on dreams and dreaming, and the pleasure of opening our doors to our first students. The feedback has been wonderful, as each student progresses through their chosen course or courses at their own pace, in their own time, be that linear, cyclical, or spiral. For those of you who haven’t experienced doing a course at The Dream Academy yet, we have just launched a free Preview course. You can enter the portal here.
I diverge, but only slightly, for now I step back into my dream of last night and hover again, seeing the patterns that have led me to now, and I am reminded of the verse in T S Eliot’s Little Gidding:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
Exploring and working with your dreams is an alchemical journey that brings you home, transformed, to the deepest aspect of your being, so that you arrive where you started and know the place for the first time.
Perhaps the nature of time is a line that spirals in cyclical fashion, lifting you higher until everything is so clear that the circle is complete.
As this is my last blog for the year, here’s a big thank you to everyone who has explored with me this year, through reading my blogs and books, listening to The Dream Show, being a guest on The Dream Show, doing the online courses, consulting me about your dreams, committing to a dream therapy program, or engaging me as your mentor. And a big thank you as well to the media, in all your guises, for supporting my work and helping to get people excited and educated about dreams and dreaming.
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