I was in a hurry that day. So much to do and people to see. I didn’t notice you until we collided and I dropped all my dreams. I looked into your eyes for a moment and before I could speak you said, “I’m sorry. Let me help you pick them up” Thanks, it’s no bother, I wasn’t watching where I was going,” I blurted out. You were kind to offer, I thought. “You seem familiar to me. Have we met before I asked.” You nodded and said “yes many years from now.” As I bent down to gather them up, I watched as you walked away. You turned and glanced back, a smile on your face, your eyes like little suns seemed full of grace. Perhaps I should have let you help me. I looked down and one by one, picked them up and brushed off the dust of reality. When I again looked up you were gone, consumed by the crowd milling about. So much for my rushing about, I murmured to myself. The crowd now surrounded me and I hurriedly picked them all up and put them safely away in my pouch. Why I wondered did I always take my dreams with me? The response was rapid and without contemplation. Dreams are all I have. They are who I am. Of course, I knew that but some times I felt that maybe there was more to existence than my dreams. Did all the other people here have all their dreams with them as well? I resolved to find out. As I was finishing getting my dreams secured once again, I noticed one was missing. It didn’t seem to be anywhere. It wasn’t a big dream but it was one I enjoyed a lot. I stood my spot and looked everywhere, now fearful that some one in the crowd might trample on it. I still had so much to do. I became flustered and downtrodden. I realized there was nothing I could do and surrendered myself to having lost a part of me. I marked that spot with my tears. A simple requiem for a dream, lost somewhere in time.
I finished my tasks and went back to that spot. I searched it again but to no avail. It wasn’t a big dream, perhaps it fell into one of the cracks, I thought. Tomorrow I would bring some tools and see if I could find it there. I wondered if I might set up a booth and ask those passing by about their dreams while I was looking? I fashioned my booth out of the materials I found around my house. I dressed it up to make it more attractive and inviting to those whom I might query. I thought that I should have a lure, a gimmick, a reason for them to stop by. I wasn’t very good at this sort of thing but I was determined to try. Free Advice… I thought everyone could use some advice and if it was free, perhaps many would stop by. I set it all up and began to search in the cracks. It would take some time I realized, perhaps many days. I worked my spot until darkness stumbled across the way, leaving pools of black instead of the concrete gray. Not one of all those people stopped by. So much for Free Advice lol. I spent the night pondering what I might do to get some people to stop by so I could ask them about their dreams. I was slowly loosing a grip on myself I realized. Trying so hard to discover something that mattered to only me. Life was a gift to me and my dreams were what I had gathered with my life. How sad to have lost one and now to be obsessed with this task. Despite my efforts no one came by and eventually I came to realize, my lost dream was nowhere to be found.
Over the years I returned many times to that spot. Silently remembering that dream which I never forgot. My tears still stained the path, a mark that endured the march of time. The crowds were still there doing whatever they do. I still wanted to know, do others carry their dream with them? I never was very good at approaching strangers and asking them such personal questions. The best of my intentions resulted in just a “Good Day to you” or “Hello, how is it going?” Oh, over time I met a few who I was able to ask more meaningful questions, like “Did you have a good weekend?” and “How did you do on your search?” Dreams are difficult to talk about I guess. Maybe they are so private that others seldom share them? A few were willing to open their pouches in my presence but I never saw any dreams in them. Their pouches contained accomplishments and gratitudes, debts and IOUs. All sorts of things that were probably much more important than dreams. Perhaps their lives were not like mine. “Is not everyone’s life a gift?” I wondered out loud to myself. “Perhaps” someone nearby responded. “Perhaps they are life. Maybe their gift is the opportunity to share.” “You seem familiar. Have we met before?” “Perhaps” you responded. “Perhaps what you are looking for has never been lost.” “Tell me more” I pleaded as I closed my eyes for a moment to ponder those words but in that blink of an eye you were gone.
I pondered the years of my life. I had always sought to share my life and my dreams, the things that were most important to me. I have always felt blessed and grateful for the opportunity of life. Perhaps the stranger was right. Maybe most all those I see are life. Maybe life is not their gift but just what they are. Maybe dreams are not important because dreams are what they are. Maybe they perceive me as unimportant because I collect dreams. I wondered why I hadn’t realized this before. Looking back I can see all the clues that were given to me over the years. I am not blind, I thought but maybe a bit slow sometimes. There were some things I never really understood about life and the ways people act. I began to feel a bit retarded. Not that I wasn’t clever and smart. I even knew how atoms formed and how suns are made. There seemed to be little I didn’t know, yet clearly this was just my way of adapting to what I didn’t or couldn’t know. The revelations opened up a place inside I didn’t even know existed.
I spent much time there looking through all the stuff. Some seemed valuable and some seemed junk. I realized that I would never be able to discern the difference. It was bittersweet to know that I might never experience life like those around me. It was funny in a twisted way how I so cherished and treasured those dreams for all my life. Yet they were all I had to carry me through the vicissitudes of existence. Without them I lacked meaning and value. No wonder those I met, considered me a bit childish and simple. An innocent thrust into being without a clue about life. I felt like crying but for what I couldn’t decide. Maybe there are others who, like me, can never die.
Time has its way and its task to refresh reality now and then. Washing away the old and revealing the fresh new world within. I used my life well, I thought. I loved everyone as I loved myself. I shared what I had with anyone who happened by my place. To some I felt special and for them I made a space. My closed friends, the atoms, molecules and particles, seemed always interested in hearing my stories. They loved to create and would always show me their latest work. Every now and then I’d meet a special creation they had made. I was always grateful for their kindness and their efforts. I fell in love with their latest creation. They had worked hard to fashion and form her. I cherish her companionship and her sensitive insightful nature. It feels and seems she is a part of me able to dance in my dreams. Perhaps she doesn’t mind that I am not as real as those in life who live the dream. Perhaps…I am her dream.
I went today to visit the spot where I lost my little dream so long ago. I wanted her to come with me but she had life to attend to, places to go. I understood and accepted that and thanked her for her thoughts. We will be together again one day. My friends made her of the dreams in my heart. Like me the connection will outlast time itself. I was in a hurry of sorts to get to that spot. I didn’t notice you coming and collided with you at that spot. I didn’t have any dreams in my pouch anymore as my friends had used them in their creation. But everything in your pouch was now scattered about. “May I help you pick things up? I am sorry I wasn’t watching where I was going” You thanked me for my offer but said “I should have been more careful. I fell in love today and I was lost in my thoughts.” I felt the memories of years gone by rush through me like a wind of summer time. My spot where so long ago I lost a part of me was now a place where two travelers met because of love. I felt the tears in my eyes form and fall unto that place again. I do not get emotional often. I can still feel the mixture of joy and sorrow that filled me. You finished picking up everything that fell from your pouch. We looked at one another and smiled. “You seem familiar to me somehow. Have we met before?” you asked. “Yes, I am sure” I said. “It was a long time from now” “Thanks for your offer to help” “You are welcome” I said. “Perhaps this is yours?” you said holding a little dream in your hand. “No, I don’t believe it is mine anymore. If you want it please keep it as your own.” You closed your eyes perhaps to ponder what it all meant. Maybe the dream or maybe just the dust of reality that covered it. I walked away in peace knowing my last dream had finally found a home. I turned and looked back at you, smiled and knew that when you were done with your tasks, you would find your way to a place where eternity waits and dreams still fly. Reality is a curious thing. I wonder if molecules cry.
Sometimes discovery leads to insight and insight leads to meaning.