Walking in the Dreamtime


The myths of the aboriginal Australians have always held a lot of power for me, particularly the idea of the Dreamtime, or the Dreaming. The Dreamtime is the sacred landscape in which the world was created, and they believe that it exists in parallel to the “regular” world, accessible at any moment through myth and ritual. Each bush, rock and animal in the landscape is sacred, and has it’s corresponding image in the Dreamtime. When I think and write about myth as metaphor, this particular notion has a lot of resonance for me. By holding their myth and ritual space so close, the Aboriginal tribes keep the Earth, as well as their lives, in sacred time. I don’t know the Aboriginal words for these concepts, but in Greek we have the words “kairos” and “chronos”, for “sacred time” and “clock time”. When we’re in Kairos time, one might say that we’re in the Dreaming. We’re in the place made sacred, and become sacred ourselves, if only for a little while. This is why I believe it’s so important that we honor our creative time, our prayer time, our time in nature. Anything that brings us into the Dreaming is enriching and deepening the sacred aspects of our lives, and must be treated respectfully, even ritualistically. When Anne Lamott tells us in “Bird by Bird” to create a ritualized, sacred space to do our writing in, even if it’s just a small corner of our kitchen or bedroom, she understands the way that the creative aspects of our lives deserve to be honored.

  One thought on “Walking in the Dreamtime

  1. November 13, 2013 at 2:07 am

    Allison, this is wonderful. “kairos” time I didn’t know. The imagery would fit nicely into some running themes in my senior class. 🙂

  2. Mark
    August 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    There are so many issues that should be considered in dealing with myths and legends – good to se you are considering the big picture

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