Way of the Dream

dreams lotus_n

Simone Weil: Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity

I often take my dreams for a walk – I think they like the fresh air and exercise. I witness it in a different way, wandering and wondering, while my ego takes a deserved break. A new dimension in the dream appears. A crack in the sidewalk may trigger something and an unbidden thought arises. It reminds me of the other evening when I was watching the rays on the clouds of the setting sun from my study turn a glorious orange-pink. I went outside to see wider; the opposite side was an entirely different sky/cloud scape. I looked for a few moments and turned back to see the first view which had completely changed –

It’s like that with a dream. The lens is wider the more we let it cook instead of trying to whip it up into shape or water it down to fit with what we believe it to be. Any worthy work deserves patience and commitment. The waiting is hard – but it cannot be rushed. Autumn precedes spring, it takes its own time. It needs watching, and waiting. The wilderness is dense, those depths, thick, ambiguous. Occasionally a ray of sunlight breaks through, and we feel that the waiting was worthwhile as the dimension to the dream deepens, further still.

A woman dreamed of being a waitress, serving others, at their beck and call. She wasn’t a waitress in real-life; she was a very successful business woman. She sensed that her life needed changing, some withdrawal from business, to connect with herself, to slowly but surely find a way back to herself, to serve – and save – herself –

Like working in our gardens, waiting for spring to appear, we wait on our dreams, the garden of our inner wilderness; and let them, the images, do their mythical mysterious work on us. The walls come crumbling down – we see the way of the dream, glimpsing our lodestar, waking up to who we truly are and may yet become. The wisdom was always there, within, a world waiting to be discovered —

Today, Monday 27th April, is the 21st anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic election, when Mr. Nelson Mandela became our President (1994). It was a long walk to freedom, hard won, not yet fully realised in this beautiful yet beleaguered country of ours.

 with thanks to google images for graphic

56 Comments on Way of the Dream

  1. I love the words waiting and wilderness associated with dreams. Best of all is walking with the dream, as we build out dreamscape and explore it. I worked on dreams for an hour today and felt, as I often do, that I’d stepped into another world without a map to show me the way. But meaning arose from the images with a sense of guidance and inner wisdom.

    Thanks for bringing it all back to the South African and human dream of freedom and equality. May it be so.

    • Thanks Elaine for coming by. I agree that with patience and work we can allow or access a deeper wisdom – how well you put that : ‘But meaning arose from the images with a sense of guidance and inner wisdom’.

      Thank you ..

  2. Walking with a dream is an interesting concept.

    Congratulations on South Africa’s anniversary. Nelson Mandela was an inspirational man.

  3. Walking with the dream–a lovely image. I had a dream last night, the meaning of which eludes and troubles me. Perhaps I should walk with it a bit, and maybe it will become clearer in time.

    And congratulations on South Africa’s democratic anniversary! 21 years… 1994 doesn’t seem like that long ago…

    • Thanks Sara – giving the dream a bit of fresh air and especially putting the ego aside and getting into your stride may prompt some further widening of the lens. Good luck.

  4. Mr. Mandela was an incredible man who achieved incredible things. Here’s hoping the world never forgets.

    As for taking our dreams for a walk, I find stories and novels benefit from that as well.

  5. I find walking helpful for percolating all manner of things–dreams, problems, story ideas, poems. There’s something about putting one foot in front of the other that loosens the thought process and frees the imagination.

    • I agree Kern about walking whatever out and through and over and in. I’ve even ‘tried’ walking backwards (on my own of course)..Thank you 🙂

  6. Your blog post applies to so much more than just dreams – to most things in fact. I’m very guilty of wanting to rush things, to get there now now now, and these last few months I’ve tried to make more of an active effort to take time and be patient. It’s really hard to do as it goes completely against all my natural impulses but it’s so worth it.

    The quote beneath your photo is also so very true (and it’s a beautiful illustration! Did you make it?)

    • Thanks for coming by Celine. Invariably I’m also in rush mode a lot of the time and it’s sometimes hard to be still and patient but as you say, so worth it!

      No, the graphic is from google images. It is lovely, isn’t it.

  7. A long walk to freedom, yes, and so much has happened since. We need dreams — nightly visions and hopes — something to keep us going, and South Africa under Mr. Mandela s such a great example. I like the idea of listening to one’s dream, as the business woman in the story — she needed a change in her life, and the dream showed her a different side. Thank you, Susan.

  8. I got stuck on the first line–how the heck do you take a dream for a walk? Even symbolically? Maybe my dream will take me for a walk–which I need.

  9. I will be walking or doing my nails or sewing (this latter a rare occurrence) and images flash into my mind, including bits of dreams. They always come with a feeling — a mind-feeling a spiritual master (a visionary mystic) I followed termed this phenomenon. The feeling is my feeling and no one else’s, therefore it must be trusted, and that and the image often match a past experience, so this helps elucidate the possible meaning of the dream or whatever it is I need to attend to for my evolution.

    Beautiful image at the top.

    Thank you, Susan. You have given me much to think about over the course of these A-Zs. I think I already said that.

    • Thank you Samantha – and yes the feeling is ours and ours alone, I’m glad you emphasised that, and that it is worthy of our trust and its evolution…

  10. Ye Olde Tale
    Once upon a time, there was a very OLDE KING who died, and his QUEEN then had the pleasure of counting all the golden coins steadily arriving to HER CASTLE.
    All of our women-commentators are, metaphorically, the QUEENS across the whole world of Castles and of Countries.
    The KING who is in Heaven, or elsewhere, was pleased that all of the conquests he had made down on Earth provided so well for HIS QUEEN.
    In your COMMONWEALTH OF SPIRITUALITY, Susan, the Golden Coins of Wisdom that you send out from your A to Z Castle have a distinct meaning and are valued at a higher altitude of valuing by your readers, compared to how basely gold is valued by the king & the queen.
    The issues reflected in this OLDE TALE can represent the “to be or not to be” in the manner of Statesmanship in South Africa.


    • Thank you Joseph for this lovely story. The gold coins are returned in kind by the kind commentators for which I feel rich indeed.

  11. Congratulations on the 21st Anniversary of Democracy and the leadership of the World’s beloved So African President Mr. Nelson Mandela. He was a Prince of love.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your post. You are filled with information that has answered questions I wasn’t even aware I had. You’re a wonderful writer. I’m not looking forward to the challenge ending.

    • Thank you Marsha for acknowledging this day! Freedom Day we call it – we still long for it but are reminded, which is important.

      The A-Z may end, but your dreams won’t Marsha. Thank you for being such a great supporter of these posts.

  12. I was struck when reading today’s post by something I’ve been doing for a long time without being totally conscious of it. It is that I not only treat things, people, events etc… in my dreams as symbols but in my waking walking world too. It was the image of the lotus at the top of the page that got me there. It has now showed up twice in an hour after I brought the Buddhist notion of lotus to the attention of the family group I am counselling. I was saying that the lotus looks serene and beautiful on the surface of the water but we must not forget that it has a long tap root down to the muck and slime at the bottom of the pond. Our wisdom (the calm lotus on the surface) arises from our not so pleasant experiences of pain and loss. Thank you again for being a positive well of dream wisdom!

    • That is such sweet synchronicity Jan! That’s exactly where the root of the lotus arises, in the well of muck and grime, and yet to flower and bloom and offer its beauty to us .. thank you for coming by 🙂

  13. I love the idea of taking your dreams for a walk and going outside to see wider. You’re something and you’ve had a powerful impact on my dreaming, which is saying a lot coming from a shaman.

    • Thank you Stephanie! It seems your dreams are active! And if my posts have stimulated this in any way, then this is wonderful – mine have been stimulated in extraordinary ways, I’m sure in part because of writing about them. Although the last few nights have been barren. So, I’m waiting!

  14. Loved this: “we wait on our dreams, the garden of our inner wilderness”. What an interesting perspective, to let dreams simmer and broaden instead of just filing them away like bills or receipts in accounting binders.

    Thanks for your visits over at Quiet Laughter , Susan… Much, much appreciated 🙂

    • Thanks Guilie – that’s an apt description of what we often do with our dreams – just file ’em away, gathering dust ..

      I so appreciate your stopping by every now and then, thank you! 🙂

  15. The dream does lead the way–stretching from Mandela’s walk to the average one. Remembering moments as well as our dreams is so valuable…

    • Thank you Susan – a long long walk indeed epitomised symbolically and politically by people such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King – I have a Dream. Individually, we can each walk the way ..

  16. Way, walk – all good W-words. Here is a quote from me today with another “W” – writing: Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you. (Marsha Norman)

    • That is so lovely Marian thank you! So true – ‘Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you’. (Marsha Norman) And extremely wise. I’m sending a virtual thank you to Marsha Norman – and to you!

  17. And yet, South Africa has come a long way. Tremors of the new birth are still there. Growth has to take place in many areas of the mind in many people, yet the dream is still living and the dream will one day become the reality.

    This waiting and sitting back as we wait on the dream is as you say difficult. Our dreams become reality when we are willing to patiently wait, and as Nelson Mandela experienced, we too will experience the same.

    The question is if we are willing to stop dominating with our ego and listen to the still small voice within that is embedded in our unconscious.

    Thank you. Your article awakened my inner voice.


    • Thank you Patricia – a reminder indeed that the dream of South Africa is still living and the dream will one day become a reality. I so hope that others read your comment – wise words, every step of the way as it pertains to the wider world and the inner world. Thank you very much.

      Shalom to you, Susan

  18. I must try this; I have spells of not recalling dreams. Last night was filled with nightmares I am glad not to remember though.
    Thank you

    • Thanks Viv – walking the nightmares may help. Nightmares can be de-potentiated or the power of them reduced, by recalling and reflecting. They can be re-membered.

  19. Susan, Yesterday I awoke from a dream in which my (now deceased) aunt called me in the morning, which is what she would always do with my mom, her sister.
    And, because your postings are encouraging my reflection, I realized that every morning my aunt’s daughter and I email. Just like our moms, we connect every day. I shared that with her and it was a sweet moment. Thanks!

  20. The last paragraph broke my dream, an elegantly dressed black gentleman offered to entertain with his generosity of a banana coupe ! The most distant thing from reality at present is banana coupe?

    Thanks for this interesting blog.

    • Gillian, thanks for coming by – your dream is interesting! It is a lovely image! Sounds like that spirit of the banana coupe (rum) was saying something as well as the generosity the elegantly dressed black gentleman .. a rum dream … thank you for sharing it!

  21. The clarity you seem to have in your dreams amazes me. Listening it is like stepping into an entirely different world. Letting the dream have its’ way can be frustrating. Letting the meaning come sometimes does take patience. Thank you for your wise words and interesting post.

    • Thank you dear Gwynn, in my dreams do I wish to have clarity! No, I wish I did have clarity, sometimes a glimpse but clarity no ..

  22. Loved the content as well as the image Susan; today I took a walk to the nearby garden trying to recall my dream, which was very strange, I am in the company of some very strange women; and then somehow I feel left behind walking along, I see a long road and big rats running around… I was trying to make sense of it .. I did not understand anything… but I chose to remember this dream hoping that something would strike me…congrats to s Africa and my prayers for the country..

    • Thank you Genevive. Rats have many many symbolic meanings, they’re fertile for one thing! This reminds me of my niece telling me a long time ago that there were bats in her dream and she thought it foretold doom … not at all, bats see in the dark … something will strike you Genevive, keep the image in mind. Getting behind the rat-pack (not being part of it) is another immediate ‘thought’ …as is the fertility of rats ..

      I’m doing precisely what is NOT the right thing to do by suggesting other ways of looking at the symbols. What is important is how you felt about this dream, walk with it some more ..

      Thank you for your prayers for SA ..

  23. Hi Susan – I love the sound of your voice in this piece, I’m not sure whimsical is the right word but it starts with W so i’m sticking with it 🙂 – the imagery of walking through a dream, compared to the changing sky is great.

  24. DREAMS IN HEAVEN, Anno Domini, DAY TWENTY-FOUR of A to Z

    Hi Joseph,

    I am thinking about you to let me know I an O.K. I am sending this message to you by a SCIENTIFICALLY CERTIFIED MEDIUM, whose certification was overseen by Professor Gary E. Schwartz at University of Arizona. USA.


    I DREAMED, that upon my arrival up here, I received great accommodation inside a sunny cloud where my enemies would not notice me.

    A GROUP of 3 MICE also were well-received and they got roller skates to quickly escape dangers heading their way.

    Not long after I arrived at this HEAVENLY PLACE, a KIND-HEARTED and CARE-GIVING ANGEL inquired about my WELLNESS.


    With Love,

    Your OLD CAT,

    “I’m Here.”

    P.S., Please send love to Susan Scott, her lovely blogs are arriving here always on time, and ALL THE ANGELS HERE IN HEAVEN SING THEIR PRAISES!

  25. Hi Susan – 21 years … and such a lot has happened – South Africa deserves to be happy now, but needs another true leader, as do so many parts of the world. Walking does us good – to let our thoughts be unto themselves … I need to let my brain be itself with nature … not tied to other web type things … thankfully my phone is not umbilically attached .. cheers Hilary

    • Thank you Hilary. Maybe we don’t lead leaders anymore, or governments anymore? Just to be contrary – we can be our own leaders and keep on walking? Being with brain in nature is lovely. Susan

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