Four hundred years ago we weren’t here, in this form anyway. We didn’t have any wi-fi that was too slow or the ability to ping our next appointment forward to our office mate. We just didn’t. And it didn’t matter that we didn’t. A 17th century thrill ride was the prospect of star-gazing. Of course, you don’t know what you’re missing until you try it comes to mind. And I bet those living the 18th century felt that way about the poor slobs before them, who it would seem, didn’t know how to accurately measure their body temperature.
But, what did we have? Besides the remnants of the crusades that ended a few hundred years prior, the surge of the English civil and some other pretty decadent wars, and lots of incurable diseases, we had our mix of doers, thinkers, dreamers, believers and the antithesis of each. We had envy, greed, and a general sense of malaise. We had dishonesty, deceit, and the antithesis of those less than adequate attributes. We had life, among the living and death among those not living. We had each other.
We have all of those things today, but on social steroids. I don’t have to think anymore about what someone else is thinking, I just need to check their status. I don’t need to ponder, contemplate my thoughts at all, I can pull the trigger at any time. We have immediacy. And for me, immediacy nurtures mediocrity.
Yes, I’m happy that unless I fall off a pirate ship, I won’t die of scurvy. But, if I google it enough times, I can imagine having each of those symptoms and a myriad of other diseases that accompany it. This is not a post about how technology is destroying the fabric of our humanity. It is. But, we all know that it does some pretty remarkable things along the way. Does it counter the destruction? That remains to be seen.
This is a post about dreaming, not “living the dream”. Although I dig it when people say that they are on their status update on “fakebook”. I even dig it when it’s laced with sarcasm as they push through yet another day of doing something that they really don’t want to do.
This is about the impossible dream. This is about the thought patterns in your brain before you slumber. This is about the thought that wakes you, and the one that you feel like you will never, ever get to in a million years; even if you have the dream job, are working a cool gig, or some prestigious appointment. It’s the dream that you truly don’t dare to dream. Right there, in that place, is your humanity. We are not perfect souls, regardless of any ideas of spiritual divinity you hold for yourself and for your loved ones. As long as we breath, we die.
Talk to anyone who has achieved their goal, their dream, and there is a silent nudge to do more, be more. I don’t know what happens when we leave this place. In one of my versions, I envision a giant movie screen. And there’s this really awesome being standing close by, not judging, not condemning, just there for the ride as we watch our dream life unfold. At the end, we are pretty jazzed that we did all that we did, we might grimace at the not so kind things we said, we may cheer a time or two, but we are surrounded by grace and so we exhale. And then this wonderful and powerful being smiles and says, would you like to see a glimpse of what your life could have been? Could have been? I fought to keep food on my children’s table, I literally scaled the highest mountain, I never threw away a paper clip. What more is there? The lights dim and the being whispers to you, faith. True, divine faith…
…And there it is – the first moving image of not your dreams, not the living, waking dream of your life, not the ones you poked, pinged, and tagged about, but the impossible one. The one that you knew existed all along, but didn’t know how to get to. The one that you couldn’t’ describe or imagine. You grieve. You weep. There it is. IT was there all along. And you say to yourself, I missed it. But, then that awesome voice whispers back, let’s get started.