what dreams may come
13/05/2010 § Leave a comment
I didn’t want it to end, but I knew that all good things must come to an end because if they don’t, they become sour or bitter or, even worse, tasteless. It is only human nature to hold onto what is comfortable and enjoyable, but it is human potential that makes us move on.
Such were my thought when I closed the blue, back-cover of Slouching Towards Bethlehem, which, as always, ended on a high note. Didion is a last-liner, ending every essay with a punchline that perfectly summarizes the 5,000 words (or so) that she just wrote, but also to provoke more curiosity — even she understands that she still might not understand what she just wrote about understanding. She eggs the reader to try and discover a different approach to explaining the cause, or root, of things that have happened or the way people are. She ended Slouching much the same.
Goodbye to all that, she titles her essay on living, no sojourning, 8-years in New York during a time that she felt she could. She describes New York as, not only a city for the very rich or the very poor but, a city for the very young. Eventually, despite the parties and the revolving-door of new faces, she became depressed, got married, and realized that life was exhausting. She and her husband went to “stay” in California for 6-months and just didn’t go back to the East. She let it go.
Last night, — perhaps it was Didion slipping into my subconscious — I had a dream that finalized everything in my other self, the self that kept holding on. I think that dreams are not necessarily another world, but a fantastical world in which you can push your limits and explore your possibilities: You can cheat on a partner, kill someone or something, wreck havoc, fall from an escaltor that goes nowhere, run around naked in your 4th-grade classroom. Don’t be frightened, dreams are not just the about the desire to “do these things”, rather an exploration about how you would feel if you did them. It’s a good thing to feel disgust or shame when you wake up and realize that you just dreamt about burning your English-teacher’s house down. It’s a good thing when you wake up with giggles because you just spent 7-hours of REM with someone you have been in love with your entire life.
Dreams are there to test how we truly feel about something or someone. Last night, my dream questioned my intentions, and even though I pursued the desire, I woke up with a pit in my stomach, like I had done something awful and disrespectful and, well, just wrong. Through my dream, I began to realize that pain is a powerful thing, and even though it hurts like a sonofabitch, it helps heal the heart. It’s as if the final rope has been cut, allowing the ship to sail away, the dock remaining in the bay.
I can remember, quite vividly, how it all began. There is always hope in the beginning. Hope is a powerful feeling, so moments of hope one always remembers. Once, a friend asked me where it all went wrong. I said, I didn’t really know, I couldn’t pinpoint it exactly. I guess I would have to figure out when and where the hope died.
It is easier to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends, quoth Didion.
Perhaps, that is what dreams are made for: they help you see things. They mindfully play, not the beginning nor the end, but what could have been, making you realize that you are over the possibilities and would rather live in reality.