I never did attend university, but I finally graduated from high school, in my dreams. It may have been much, much more than that.
Dreams figure greatly in my learning processes. The one that seemed to recur regularly was the one where I returned to Barrie North Collegiate to sit a final Math exam.
Math was my strongest suit in high school. I even managed a perfect Math exam in Grade 13. So, why I should find myself returning to class seemingly every night, I could never comprehend: had I overlooked something? Was I supposed to improve on my score? Or was it that I had intended to continue my education, but I just hadn’t felt ready to do so?
The dream itself would have familiar elements, like the feeling of not being prepared for the test, coming to class late, not being sure where in school the class was being held: anxiety feelings, for sure.
Then one night, I had a dream that was in three parts. Therefore I split the dream’s contents into three poems.
Over the last thirteen years, my dreams had
Never been able to stop returning
To high school, as if I had a burning
Obligation to continue to add
Unknown quantities, like Sir Galahad,
Never shrinking from my quest; a yearning
In my heart to pursue my soul’s learning
Vortex into my mind, where Good meets Bad.
Eagerly I went to class, took the test
Repeatedly until I got it right.
Several times I wondered if sometime
I’d break from the depths, climb my Everest
To the top, scale the Spiritual Height…
Yawn, fathom my same base, prepare to climb.
My First Night
My First Night
Somewhere in the middle of the morning
Of January nineteenth, I went to
University, with no forewarning,
Let alone a cheery ‘How do you do?’
In the course of my wanderings that first
Night, I drank wine with a group of nine/ten
Individuals who helped me quench my thirst,
Teaching me how to release my frightened
Insecurity: my self-illusions
And egotism were shaken; naked I sank.
The ‘me’ that survived the dissolution
Insisted that no-one could love a blank.
One of Them said something I knew was true,
Never having understood: I love you.
When viewed together, these first two sonnets show the change that occurred that morning of January 19, 1984. I had finally gone to Universe-ity. What I didn’t understand until much later was that the group of nine or ten (I couldn’t be sure how many, as there seemed to be so many of them) were connected with me. They weren’t necessarily ‘me’, but they were there to support me in whatever endeavour I was to attempt.
The Next Morning
One of the group was my Inner Guide, who completely blew my mind when he said that he loved me. But it wasn’t in the ordinary way we mean when we say “I love you”. It was more like, “I know you inside and out, and I love you in spite of that”. That gave me a fresh perspective on everything.
The Next Morning
As morning broke, in my dream, all of the
Newcomers were handed four test papers
In which we were to take backgrounds, see,
Link, with the character traits, the diverse
Lines of action, and complete the story.
Unfortunately, I misplaced them and
Spent three searching hours, an allegory
To illustrate my mental sleight-of-hand.
Recruiting my friend, we located them
As ev’ryone was preparing for lunch.
The experience is an apothegm
Inscribed in my spirit, packed with a punch:
Only when my Constant Companion stood
Near, was I complete, to do as I should.
The Body, Human
This was the foreshadowing of the change that would come in my Astrology work, when I moved to England.
The Body, Human
At the first moment of our human birth
The cycles of heaven stop, mark the place
Each planet holds on the horoscope’s face
So we’ll know our potential here on earth.
That does not mean an abundance or dearth
In the chart, makes the person only trace
Nth degrees of choice; in all parts of space
Grace allows us to do some things of worth.
Goodness knows that bad things come about;
Reason tells us that we can’t all be good
Or else there’d be no balance in the scale.
Up we must strive, for there can be no doubt
Nor can Life’s meaning be misunderstood:
Deep in our bones, our spirits never fail.
One of the things that I used to do in high school was write English versions of Latin poetry. Here’s a famous one I translated which asks the big questions.
Why do you want to know Heaven’s secrets?
Who am I? Who are you? When will we die?
Don’t put your faith in a fortune-teller,
Who makes up an astrological lie.
It’s better to let the future happen:
Whether you’ve been assigned many more years
Or just this last one – only God can know;
You’re just being worn down by your worried tears.
Taste the essence of ev’ryday life
And restore a bit more to your short span,
For as long as we share what we have now,
Our enemy, Time, can’t upset The Plan.
Live each day to the fullest, today
And fears of tomorrow will fade away.
(From Carminium I.11 by Horace aka Carpe Diem)