The Nature of Dreaming

Dreams are eluding me.

Not the night time sort, wild fragments of story-telling from my beautiful sub-conscious mind.

No, I mean the daytime sort of dreams, those that come clearly defined and neatly delineated, the things others talk of dreaming about, dreaming of, planning for, working to make happen.

I go to that place in my mind, in my heart, where I think the dreams might be, and there is nothing. Silence. A blank screen.

I write, to myself, and some others whom I trust, that I feel lost without dreams, disconnected from the world of dreamers, puzzled by their dreaming, disconcerted by the absence of my own.

Then it occurs to me, with a jolt, that I do have dreams.

They are just stored in a different place, playing to a different kind of soundtrack.

I dream of a world where compassion is the currency of everyday life.

Where random acts of kindness form the soft, sweet tokens of daily exchange.

I dream of a world where poems are left at bus stops, in railway carriages, in the hospital toilets where people stand, weeping, falling apart, desperate for a fragment of comfort.

I dream of a world where we go slowly enough to listen, and notice, and care.

I dream of a world where we have time, where we make time, for those who do not fit, and speak slowly, and have trouble articulating their words.

I dream of a world where we gather in response, with poetry, kindness and care, to those who are suffering, to those who are mentally ill, to those who are suffering the anguish of mental ill health, coupled with the belief, the insidious belief, that it is somehow all their fault.

I dream of a world where dragons roam, and unicorns dance with delight.

I dream of a world where copies of the poems of Hafiz are sent scattering through the sky, like poetry confetti.

I dream of a world that is softened and shaped by compassion and kindness.

I do not know how to help make this world, how to help birth this dream other than:

the practice of kindness,

the sharing of poetry,

the commitment to writing with the language of kindness, compassion and gratitude,

the belief that the sharing of fragments of our stories, our worlds, our lives can help us learn to be kinder, less judgemental and more compassionate,

the determined holding on to the belief that  tiny ripples, of compassion, kindness, poetry and care can help to birth a dream.


First drafted in response to reflections on the absence of my new year dreams; brought into being through these posts written on Martin Luther King Day: Patti Digh at 37 Days: Because I too have a dream and Susan Piver: I have a dream, what is yours?

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