The dreams you collected were stuffed in your back pocket and forgotten. They turned to dust, or shredded papers that once had words written. Words that were secrets. They were supposed to be remembered. They were written on post-it notes, on paper towels from bathrooms, on receipts, on postcards you never sent. It was from a time you didn't trust yourself to remember. Some of those dreams are three years old now, no maybe two, I don't know I've lost track of time, the way our elders no longer remember their exact age because time has lost sense of itself. I've lost track of time. The dreams still float like tiny spirits, just beyond reach, before you realize that you are living little pieces of them. It is not what you thought it would look like.
Wasn't it beautiful when you could dream paradise? When fantasy was a utopia and nothing, I repeat, nothing could shatter the dreams? Instead they are speckled with pain, with a heart crying out in grief and simultaneous joy. To hold a paradox inside your body without exploding is a practiced art, and mostly you do just explode. The storm that arises comes in wails, filling all the corners of your home. Yes, your home, because you are privileged to have a home when so many do not. Your home has corners, and stairs and a side porch you can watch the sun rise from as it yawns over the mountains. Instead, your dreams are gripped in the cold hands of reality. Reality strangles dreams lifeless, only to test their desire to continue living. If dreams are really only a constant fight to survive, when everything else tells them to crawl back inside, what do you do to keep them alive?
1) I open my computer and stare at the screen, maybe read news headlines or speed scroll through instagram videos, anything to not look at the dreams.
2) I try to meditate, key word try, because really I just put a pillow in the corner and hung plants around it like a portal to say I meditate, but honestly I just sit there for five minutes before my mind becomes too much to handle and I know I will go crazy if I keep listening to all those voices trying to tell me about dreams all at once.
3) Sometimes, I find silence, when I walk in the forest or by the river, and a dream floats past me. I reach out to pull it into my heart and there it finds form, in a poem, in a melody, in a letter I need to write to a loved one.
4) I find dreams in the voices of my friends. When we are talking ourselves into other worlds and I am jolted awake because they just answered one of my most existential ponderings and I wonder; Is my friend actually God, like capital S Spirit? The answer is always yes.
5) I find dreams in endless work, but passionate work, but endless work. Where everything is go go go and I don't want to say no, don't want to slow down. It isn't capitalism internalized (or maybe it is?) but just inspiration lighting a fire under my ass. And I know I am on the right speed of light path because I just had the most precious conversation with a stranger that made my heart come alive. That is a dream, too.
The dreams keep coming, and you don't need to hold them all. It is like trying to catch all the raindrops from the sky on the tip of your tongue, but some just need to pass on through you to feed dry earth below.