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Monday, August 24, 2009

Dreams in Conflict-

I have had a few periods in my life when I lost the capacity to dream. In retrospect, I have never had a strong capacity for real dreaming. Oh, I am a pretty good daydreamer. I seem to lack the capacity for a passionate, consuming life dream.

In those particularly down times I lost even the capacity to have daydreams. This, I believe, is a real loss. Daydreams are as valuable as those real dreams that make up part of healthy sleep. A healthy mind benefits from periods of both kinds of dreaming.

Ah, but to have experienced that life directing passionate dream. I begin to think I won't ever have such an experience. I just never bothered to sort through those wispy daydreams to find my real passions, and then give them legs as well as wings.

For example, I longed to be Huck Finn on a river raft. I dreamed about such adventures, even on a few occasions finding myself on some floating junk on an actual body of water. One time it was with my childhood friend Manuel. We found a wooden pallet floating in a pond of gathered rain water and polled it around for hours. Another time I pushed off on a log floating in the Rogue River. It only took a few hundred feet to convince me that this was not a good idea. When it washed up on a sand bar I jumped off and hoofed it home.

I never put legs to the longing. I didn't diligently save money for the purchase of a suitable craft. I did not study the great rivers to learn how to make this dream a reality. I didn't develop a passion for river boats. I just had a vague dream of floating along and doing... nothing.

Over the years I have gotten pretty good at doing... nothing. I have worked at jobs I haven't liked to provide for my family. When my wife had enough vision to put together vacations and other family activities I was able to find the extra work to pay for it. Never, however, did I find the passion to do much more than... nothing.

In recovering from my most recent bout of the loss of dreams I did focus on dreaming once again. However, I again fueled daydreams rather than finding a passion about which to dream and do... something. My dreams of travel were nebulous, and often comprised of finding ways to move slowly from place to place at very little cost.

It could work, for a man alone in a truck. A man who simply wanted to move on and largely do... nothing.

Yet I find that I am living a dream. I have family, and a place to live. We do things together, and even if our relationships are not perfect there is love present. We have enough stuff that it is a problem figuring out what to do with all of it. We may not be flush with cash, but we get by and that with full bellies.

The longing to be a wheeled hobo must represent some real need within me. It is a dream in opposition to the life I live. Not hateful opposition, just a dream that does not easily fit. It has the substance of a daydream, and is more longing than passion. It is a dream untested, and probably one that would not survive in the long run.

Vague dreams of the open road. The real dream of having a lap full of grandchildren. It would be grand if the one was able to feed the other, but the longing to go and see conflicts with the desire to stay and be.

Oh, I don't doubt that I will be able to find a chance to hit the road now and again. Perhaps I will be able to get more than enough. More than enough, and find the contentment to stay at home and dream of home.

We shall see.

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