Do I dream? There are the terrifyingly real nightmares that drag me down into an abyss of muddled darkness where the images and thoughts of my mind labour through an Escher-like treacle, flashbacks and subtle reminders from the subconscious attempting to make sense of the crazy, messed up world that I live in. I skip through no fields of daisies. I dream lucidly sometimes too, most often conscious only that I am dreaming and that I’m desperate to wake, to be free and to shake off the cold fingers of the night still grasping at me and trying to pull me back down.
There are other dreams too, a blend of the practical and the wishful. I dream of paying the bills on time. I dream of doing the things that need doing. Quite often it just remains fantasy.
To accomplish great things, you must not only act but also dream, not only dream but also believe.
– Anatole France
Wise words, I wish I could carry them out but I dream of no future and I believe in little.
A few weeks ago, Just Be Enough prompted us to share our dream day. I couldn’t think of anything, find an answer within myself so I left it and got on with not doing very much, as I do of late. But the prompt stayed with me and I found myself reflecting on the subject regularly.
When we speak of dream days, perhaps it is of trips to mouse-eared theme parks that our minds turn to. Some elusive, magical destination. Something out of the ordinary. (Mouse-eared theme parks hold no appeal for me, I’m not a fan of plastic commercialism or of rides that torture and terrify me and keep counsellors and osteopaths in business).
But the posts that came in from other readers were revealing. Time and again, the same theme appeared. And it wasn’t mouse-eared and there was no park attached to ‘theme’. It was heart-warming and it got me thinking some more.
It was about people, often the people who are most precious to you, that everyone wanted to spend time with, to reconnect, to appreciate and to be with.
Isn’t that a beautiful thing?
The furthest I can dream is of having a day off, a day away somewhere in the sunshine, somewhere warm where I can sit, probably with my tent nearby on a campsite field, and knit or read or spend a little time just being me, just being in the moment with no pressures.
But if this was a magical dream day then I’d like a little more. I want some other people to be there. I want some good food to share with them. And I don’t want to be the one making it. I want sit down with those people and talk.
These people are nearly all dead now, there are one or two who are still alive, there are some that I have never met. I want to sit them down and around my table, to talk with them and hear their stories. There are some women in my family (whichever side or line) who have been incredibly strong and taken amazing journeys out of the ordinary, not just in place or distance. I want to ask them about it. I want to find out how they felt. Some of those people I will expect them to leave their innate prejudice of me behind. We will talk on my own terms, equal. Others will, with me, have to break down walls of cultural and linguistic difference. I have been separated from a family culture by the generation above me, by someone who was perhaps trying to better than their roots. I appreciate roots. I love stories. I want to hear. I want to connect. I want my father to be there too. I want to say goodbye. And I want to hear his stories too. Because I’m afraid of forgetting them and I always promised myself that I would write them down for him.
We will pass dishes and there will be meaningful, easy flowing conversation. I will find the right words to break down barriers, I will find my place amongst these people and I will belong.