Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When You Live On An Island

I used to live on an island.  Lucky me.
And, in many ways, it was paradise.
I miss it everyday,
and hope to live there again, someday.

My island was an hour from the mainland by boat,
and our town had only a few stores,
so, occasionally,
a trip to the mainland was required.

That meant two hour-long boat rides,
one each way.
And that often meant the dreaded
feeling of being sea sick.
Not fun.
Kind of like a bad hangover,
without the party.

Someone told me that
if I would keep my eyes on the horizon during the boat ride
I would ward off the feelings
of being sea sick.
So I tried it,
and it worked.

But keeping your eyes on the horizon
while sitting on a moving boat in the ever changing sea
is not easy.
There is a need for constant adjustment.
You can't really rest and also keep your eyes on the horizon.
And, at night, in the dark,
the horizon seemed to disappear
so the task was all but impossible.

Our world is much like the sea.
Constantly in motion.
Nausea and headache come naturally
when one is faced with keeping oneself upright
and on track in a boat on the sea.

I search for the horizon
even in the darkness
and I keep my eyes fixed there.
For there I find rest.
Strength. Health. Comfort.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"When you've got a dream like mine
Nobody can put you down
When you've got a dream like mine
Nobody can push you around"
Bruce Cockburn, A Dream Like Mine, 1990

This song's been running through my head all week because,
as it turns out, I've got a dream.
Desire toward a goal. Sight beyond the now.
Finally and amazingly.

Ah, Bruce, my friend,
If only it were true
that dreams somehow disallow the pernicious scrutiny of others.

But I guess that's part of the gig.
We wake up sweating; we were dreaming.
We miss the important information; we were dreaming.
We plan our escape from the norm; we were dreaming.

It's dangerous to dream. Scandalous even.
Who on earth do I think I am making plans of further education in my mid-fifties?
It's not like I have been on a career track that warrants such a move.
And, not only that, but I'll be near sixty when I finish.
Who starts new then?

And what right have I to presume to assign funds to such education
with two young adults in my care?  Young adults who have dreams of their own?

What manner of selfishness does dreaming require?

I like what Jon Acuff said today about fear:

"Being afraid isn’t failure. Staying afraid is...Staying afraid is a choice. 
It’s a lifestyle, a scratchy comforter you pull over your head 
in the hope that it will protect you from worse things." 

Now there's the rub...the worse things.
The things that go bump in the night.
Perhaps there is value in being an "old" dreamer,
for I have faced many lions
and won.
I'll laugh at the days to come!