We're back in the UK after a stunning trip through the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as a week in San Fransisco to break up the jet-lag. May Day is over, heralding spring and workers' rights. For us, work starts again, but at least the pink and white blossoms are thick on the trees along our routes in to work. Blair and New Labour are struggling a lot more than they were when we left London in 2004 and we have been quick to register as voters again, as a start. Our South African history means that we have no choice but to take political processes seriously.
Along with the personal battle to rectify the sleep cycle has come a barrage of remembered dreams which often happens in times of transition. Three years of Jungian analysis plus some training in dream interpretation has been helpful with 'unpicking' some of these dreams – something we sometimes do with a laugh as a family 'exercise' around the breakfast table. But there are always elements that remain irreducible and I am happy with that, as it is with life. Several of my stories have sprung from dreams, but I don't think it's possible to reduce them completely – the language they speak is too different and our readiness to hear variable and limited. But I do think they generally remain more than the random processing of every day events – so why not messages to aid us to live more fully and humanely – whether they flow from the Self, God or our ancestors?
Speaking of ancestors, they feature in a very good YA sf/fantasy novel I have just read set in Zimbabwe, by Nancy Farmer, who lived there for a number of years. It's called The Ear, the Eye and the Arm. It's an intriguing story which harnesses futuristic projection with traditional beliefs and the tension between science and belief. The characters are well drawn and I had to smile at her descriptions of the 'English tribe', caricatures though they may be. Finally, I watched a BBC documentary on the Da Vinci Code last night which looked at the issues of science, religion and conspiracy theories. There was some argument that Dan Brown has obviously tapped a Millenium nerve about finding meaning in this age where 'science and faith have fought themselves to a standstill', and where belief in both have dwindled. Interesting, despite the fact that I have yet to read the book and a part of me resists the urge to read it, although I am not sure why. Perhaps it will come out in my dreams? Here's to all of our dreams for the year ahead.
Nick Wood – May 2006