Living Your Dreams

Living Your Dreams: A question that people sometimes ponder: Have I have fulfilled my dreams? It is a troubling question at many levels because an affirmative response suggests a moment of termination. What is left? If indeed the dreams have all become reality? The sense of finality that would set in after that would be bereft of any further need to progress. At that moment hope is over, because dreams could be the fountainhead of hope. Because there is always an "after." For example, in the Jewish tradition, one interpretation of the moment when Yahweh answers the question from Moses, it is said that "I am that I am" or "I shall be." This tradition reminds us that there is always "that" which comes later, because some interpret the Hebrew scripture to mean that God said, "I shall be." On the other hand, if one were to rely on science, then the moment of singularity is followed by what has been labelled as the "Big Bang," but what follows after is a process of expansion, and some would show evidence to claim that the universe is still expanding. In these metaphors, there is always the future until the notion of "end" is reached, which is merely the moment when the body can no longer perform the biology of life. Till then there is the dream and the hope. To say that I have lived my dreams, or even to say that I have reached my dreams, is to deny that there is something that comes after. It is also to say that there is no more hope. There is no more to do. A student recently described the life of a grandparent who has "retired" from work, stating that the person merely "exists." So, when we reach our dreams do we simply exist because there is no more to do? But that question begets the conundrum - what is my dream? Or your dream? Or the dreams of the people around you. The description of the dream becomes vital to responding to the question I started with: has a person fulfilled the dreams? It is possible to argue that dreams differ between people, and dreams change with time. Our lived experiences define the dreams just as the perpetual ability of human hope - that there is something better - also defines the dreams in a circular fashion. What is "better" could be, what my bondhu, Hyde calls the "perfective impulse." The impulse that drives us to reaching that moment of satisfaction when, what one would describe as, "perfection" has been achieved, albeit the idea of perfect varies. I know many people to whom that moment of fulfilling the dream is to have a lived experience where every hope comes true and there are simply no interruptions to that dreamed outcome. Even a person dreaming of the perfect getaway of a secret romance will hope that it is not discovered - that is the dream, and one hopes for that perfect outcome. Many dreams are like that, and thus many dreams never come true, because as Malcolm said in Jurassic Park, "nature finds a way." While the fictional park designer dreamed of creating the perfect entertainment by controlling nature, that dream never came true because nature interrupted. That is what remains true of dreams - there are always interruptions - and at those moments we have to reconsider the dream, rethink what we are doing, and find new paths forward - perhaps with new dreams. And we hope that those dreams come true, and thus to be able to say that my dreams have come true, and I am done, is also to confess the "end:" "I exist, and I matter no more to anyone because I do not matter to me; I just exist" - statis. This is why I would much rather do what Green Day said, "I walk alone" even down the boulevard of broken dreams, because I know new dreams will spring and much is still left to be done. For all of us.


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