… a haunting dream pops up again …

The scene takes place on a sunlit peninsula, set in a glittering sea. I play with white cubes, each feather light. The childlike part of me experiments with the beauty of forms and the building of imaginative structures that mirror colours of  the sky and surrounding landscapes. Others join in, and not just friends, strangers too. We have fun, laugh and toss cubes to each other. We are building a temple to celebrate play.

A crowd approaches. Stable minded, committed to rational thinking and adverse to risk-taking, they object to our frivolity. Some serious looking folk move in with knives at their belts. Our vision of lightness offends. We demonstrate how temples can rise and fall in the blink of an eye. ‘You put a lie to order,’ they say, ‘you ridicule our values.’ They fear us, having invested in solid structures, walls, to house the light of their gods.

With no gods to protect, we thought we could do with movable walls. After all, there are walls and walls.


As a child I wondered if I’d dropped onto the wrong planet, but was later heartened by brilliant minds with deep insights and generous perspectives on consciousness, including C G Jung.

I found a sense of safety in knowing that I can hoist the sails of my boat, catch a spirit wind and sail on a light-wave towards higher dimensions.

That said I’m a bullshit detector in the post-new-age spiritual market, where I could’ve done well with a how-to-keep-sane book.

When the above dream first arrived, many years ago, I thought, heck, I live in this space/time to engage with and challenge limitations in myself and others. I felt suspended between the virtues of Plato’s top-down and Aristotle’s bottom-up metaphysical arguments. I explored question such as – do the aggressors in my dream represent the judgmental part of me that inhibits the creative impulse of the child that shrinks when it feel unwelcome? … Yes.

Acquiring skills to facilitate creative workshops and dream seminars, brought me over two decades of confidence and joy. I discovered my intuitive connection to a higher intelligence, and I learned to trust in group processes. Former participants fondly remember these times. We had a safe space to play in.

The dream returned to show up once more my fear of rejection. This time I’m alone, the fear applies to my writing. Rejection has become the rule in this over harvested and exploited field. And as much as the explosion of writing contributes to a massive leap in the expansion of consciousness, I must admit, having spent years writing and polishing my first opus, I’ve become a judging discriminator myself. The persistence of writers is admirable, though I gasp when I hear that some writers query hundreds of agents or publishers – really?

I sent out one query only (I hear you gasp) to a niche publisher, who, in response to a poet friend’s recommendation, read my novel, loved it and wanted to launch it, but then, sadly, three years on, had to fold her publishing venture. Further delays were unthinkable, so I published, at the risk of losing the roof over my head.

Readers have personal tastes. When a book is not branded and displayed in literary markets, finding tasters will not happen overnight. I’ll keep an open mind. Appreciating and understanding my ghost of rejection is the real issue for me, especially in a time when fear assumes bestselling qualities and depression spreads like a virus.

I’m editing the sequel to Course of Mirrors and will continue writing. If procrastination was an academic accomplishment I’d have earned a PhD during these last few months.

Not to be too hard on myself, I endured five weeks without heating or hot water, editing wrapped up in multiple layers of clothing, winter boots, hot water bottles and gloves, until, finally, a government grant towards a new boiler was approved. Bliss … my brain cells are warming up again.



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13 responses to “… a haunting dream pops up again …

  1. Good to know you are warm, perhaps the outside heat thawed the inside as well and your dream drifted in on the snow melt!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great dream and thoughtful analysis. On the subject of multiple submissions to agents I have a friend who says she will stop at 400. Like you I stopped at ?2 because I could never see MONEY in what I write, and therefore no agent would recognise any prospect. One has to have an unshakable belief in the value of what one has written before persisting, yet how to attain that belief after rejection? That’s the part I seem unable to bridge, so completely understand. I think your immediate success in finding a publisher that then failed must have been worse. Hopes dashed from a high place splinter savagely!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Philippa, I sense I’m recovering.
      400 queries? There lies madness, at least for me. I don’t have that kind of industrial mind, When I’ve finished the present round of edits for ‘Shapers,’ I’ll print out the MS for my beta reader/editor and focus on reading and work/finish some short stories and poetry for a while.
      And – I’ll say this over and over – ‘Involution’ is a remarkable creation. Please never ever doubt that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is impossible to not feel for you. After the work, the thought, the endless routine of missing out on sleep.
    Your dream may well represent exactly the changing times. The moving from established and respected ways to a more liberal unaccountable era, owned and run by teenagers.
    By teenagers, I mean by way of thought. The idea that numbers will make the changes so desired and anything which represents establishment is old and tired.
    Look at “Brexit”, at “Boaty McBoatface”, at “Trump”, all driven by change for change sake. They each may well be great ideas but they represent the lengthening bridge between the what was and what will now be the norm.
    Your book I’ve no doubt would be wonderful, but because it’s a numbers thing and there is a game to play, it could well remain unread by the many who would benefit from it.
    Once the pleasures of the doing become the only thing, there will be some degree of comfort and understanding of place. It is a ruthless, no prisoners taken world now in which tried and true methods mean nothing.
    Just enjoy what you have achieved Ashen. Let the marketing be done by some “Kid” with a computer and sit down to enjoy a cigar and watch the blackbirds.
    Cheers B

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re right, Bill, the dream links to the transformation in the making. Many gods have been dethroned, but their tragic/comic quarrels continue to play in ordinary humans as psychological and physical symptoms, while sharp lenses snap up suffering and pain around the world, facing us with our collectively created reality. To soften and resolve conflicts must now be worked out within our own psyche, within our own hearts.
      A cigar 🙂 Roll ups more likely. Trying to remember famous ladies who smoked cigars.
      Re: the young ones. I’m very impressed with those I know, including my kids, by which I mean my son and his wife.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Must separate writing from marketing and sales, creative work from publishing business, value from sales count. Having done all that, know going in that most books don’t sell, most movies don’t become blockbusters, most singles don’t go gold. Even in the good old days, whenever they were, most books got remaindered, a writer’s second book harder to sell than her first, and books went out of print. Contracts with publishers may now require writers to refund advances where sales are not what was expected. Be satisfied with what you have: peace, happiness, light – and a solid book.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful dream, rich in all ways … and glad that your brain cells are warming up again Ashen.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Susan.
    A precipitation wishes to you, us, and those on our mind who need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I understand your fear of rejection and sympathise with regards to readership. Going indie is hard and there are many obstacles to jump. You will get there, Ashen, I know you will. Give it time.


  8. Thank you, Luciana, for your encouragement. ☼


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