Sunday, June 22, 2014

Thought for The Day - Awakening





It began quite a few years ago, probably earlier than I'm aware, but I will use this dream as a "mile-marker." I was 18 years old or so, attending school at Columbia College in Chicago. I had a writing class at the time and each week, we were to turn in a writing assignment. But also, we were expected to "tell a story" from the perspective of the world around us. It was a very rewarding class, where we were challenged to drop the precepts of "telling a story," using terms like "once upon a time," or "I see." In one of my stories, I recalled this dream.

In the dream, I am flying high! I'm up in the air, among the clouds, breathing "rare air" and reveling in my ability. But suddenly, I'm in my old neighborhood, on the west-side of Chicago. I find myself in the alley behind the apartment building owned by aunt and uncle, flying through the alley. My cousins, always playing softball in the alley, are there and when they see me, they take off after me, trying to catch me as I continue to fly, but getting lower and lower to the ground. As I fly the length of the long alley, I'm arching my back, trying to get back to the sky "where I belong." But my efforts are near wasted as I continue to get closer to the ground. At the garage where the owner sold "snow-cones," I wake.

That dream comes back to mind every now and then. I wonder about the connection of family versus my desire to reach higher. I know I've never been settled or okay with life as it is; I've always yearned for more. And it has always been clear that "value" and "wealth" aren't necessarily the same. While I've yearned for more, the value has always seemed more like a feeling than a dollar figure in the bank or a certain size home. Certainly, in my longings, I have wanted to be in a "certain place," or live a "rich life." And that has always felt like "more." But I can tell you, while I have achieved some things, each achievement eventually leads to the question: "what else?"

A quote from one of my favorite songs, "Open Mind" (Robert Glasper Experiment - Double Booked), sums it up: "Is it not possible for the dreamer to be awaken from what we call our normal life? Transcendent, as the dreamer wakes from his sleep."