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Dreaming Myself into Old Age: One Woman’s Search for Meaning

by Lily Iona MacKenzie

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Lily Iona MacKenzie’s memoir invites readers to join her quest for self-discovery. Since her twenties, she has forged a relationship with her nightly dreams by recording them daily in journals and reflecting on them. At times, she’s also worked with Jungian analysts who have helped her go deeper into her dreams. As a result, she’s found that the dream world often sheds light on daily events and concerns, leading to insights that we otherwise might not discover. This daily ritual continues, the basis for her writing Dreaming Myself into Old Age: One Woman’s Search for Meaning. In her early eighties, she remains determined to age gracefully and thoughtfully. Her memoir not only shows how night dreams have influenced her, but also how all the arts have fed her waking and dreaming self. She’s learned that attending to her inner world can help her to meet the changes that aging brings. She also brings readers into the spiritual explorations that answer her hunger for deeper esoteric knowledge.


ISBN: 978-1-956056-91-4 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
ISBN: 978-1-956056-92-1 (ebook)

LCCN: 2023943671

Released September 19, 2023; Copyright 2023

224 pages; 7 full-color images


In her youth, Lily Iona MacKenzie, a poet and novelist who also writes nonfiction, frolicked on a Canadian farm in an area almost too small to be on the map. She didn’t practice writing then, but she did learn to pay attention to her surroundings. The clouds in the sky offered images that stirred her imagination and stimulated her dreaming self. Cows, calves, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats, and horses were her early teachers and her main playmates. Those years instilled in her the need to honor those in her care and the realization that being successful involves hard work. As a writer, it includes her dedication to the writing craft and her belief that commitment and perseverance form the machinery that writers depend upon. Visit her blog at


“In Dreaming Myself into Old Age: One Woman’s Search for Meaning, Lily Iona Mackenzie gifts us, along with dreams, perceptive thoughts on myriad subjects like how she approaches an art project or her wonderment about alternative universes. She discovers in a surprising place a description of what is likely her own shadow. In sharing so intimately her individual path, she tacitly challenges the reader to take his or her own inward journey. She makes clear that, like traveling physically, inner journeys require planning, time, and attention. But the effort is clearly worthwhile—especially at a late age when one knows oneself quite well. Then going deeper can unearth not only nuances of self-discovery, but the unexpected and the profound.”
Solace Wales, author of Braided in Fire: Black GIs and Tuscan Villagers on the Gothic Line

“Old age is an opportunity to experience our own deepest mystery. Life’s distractions preclude tending to this mystery before the prospect of death begins to close all the curtains to the outside world. Mystery literally means ‘seeing with the eyes closed.’ We do this when we sleep, and then we see dreams. Dreams, like our DNA, are unique to us. Truth be known, our dreams are an invitation to explore our uniqueness and become an extraordinary resource for us as we confront the reality and inevitability of death. We do know that every dream is a story—a mystery—but most people have little or no connection to this reality. This is why it is important for something or someone to point us in the direction of our own unique path—a direction that becomes crucial as death approaches. What can help is to hear stories of someone who has struggled with the same things we struggle with in old age and as death begins to call our name. An exquisite example is Lily Iona MacKenzie’s book, Dreaming Myself into Old Age: One Woman’s Search for Meaning. What I find most compelling about this work is that she speaks not with an impersonal, distant voice, but with full-throated revelations of her personal struggles, an inside view that invites connection, that opens one up to her stories, her dreams, her art in such a way that it becomes a genuine companion to one’s own struggles with old age, dying, and death. Read this book now. You will be glad you did.
Russell A. Lockhart, Ph.D., author of The Final Interlude: Advancing Age and Life’s End, Psyche Speaks, and Words as Eggs

“In Dreaming Myself into Old Age, Lily Iona MacKenzie has written candidly about her life experiences, her choices and consequences. She has persevered in overcoming hardships and setbacks, discovering her authentic identity through her gift of writing, fascination with dreams, and the arts. Her time working with a Jungian analyst to interpret her dreams gives a unique perspective on her inner world. Always pursuing knowledge, she shares learning and skills by mentoring others. Lily’s passion for life continues into her later years. She can be a model for us as we look to our dreams and talents for enlightenment and meaning for the whole of our life’s journey.  Aging can just happen to us or we can participate in the process to discover enriching treasures that help us better understand ourselves and lead us on a path toward integrity and purpose.”
Dianne Lee

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