25 June 2013

A Love Letter to the Dreamers

Dear Reader of this blog,

I've missed you. How have you been? Enjoying your summer? Or has your schedule remained the same, hashing through the daily slog of a job that does not quite suit your mental verve or skill set? I've been there, done that. My guess is that you get by through a combination of avocational misadventures and a certain portion of dreaming, both day and night. I sure hope you've been having good dreams.

It's interesting (sometimes) to contemplate dreaming. Of course, that's very much the theme of my major work, but I've sworn to myself not to promote my science-fiction trilogy today. (What's it called? Can't remember. See? No promotion today.) But seriously, as you go about your weekly routine, do you ever think about a dream you've had? I mean the nightly dream; ever wonder what it meant or is supposed to mean?--if you believe in that sort of thing. I tend to have a lot of dreams in which I am traveling, usually lost in a strange city, or alternately finding my way around a large unfamiliar house, checking every nook and cranny, peeking in cabinets. But that's just me.

And there's the other kind of dream, the kind they write songs about: Don't give up on your dream, la la la!  Well, I'm pushing 39 again (lost count how many times that's happened) and I still haven't decided what my dream is. Yes, that kind of dream: what you want to do with your life, what goals you want to achieve, what you want to be known for after you are gone. I think back to the dead music composers, authors and poets, painters, even the generals, statesmen, famous women, and the unnamed teachers who gave a simple idea to an unremarkable youth who grew up to bend the world to his/her will--those people--and I wonder what their dreams were. I suppose that because we remember them today, for better or worse, they managed to achieve their dreams.

You know, it seems the question I am asked most (that is, after "What, you're still here?") is what I really mean by the "dream land"--whether socio-scientific concept or mere writing gimmick. I recently had an experience which provides fodder for explanation: I traveled for a week. Nothing special about hitting the road and just going somewhere to see what's there. However, upon returning home, everything is the same. After a deep sleep, I awakened and the thing that occupied my attention for the past week now seems like only a dream I had. The only way to prove I ever went on a trip are the souvenirs I purchased ("souvenir" means 'something by which to remember') and the photographs I took. Nothing more. (Sure, U.S. Customs probably has an electronic record of my passage, if you want to check.)

So...if I were a character in a novel and I had various adventures, say, on another world, and then I returned home, it all might seem like a dream when I awoke from a good sleep. A little confusing, certainly. But that's the concept behind the feeling of remembering something that may or may not have happened in reality, or seemed just as real as reality in a dream, that is remembered as a real event even though it was only a random biochemical surge between 3:17 and 3:21 in the morning while you were quite unconscious yet dreaming of a greater purpose to your life than what you are doing these days for which you need all that precious sleep.

It's probably deep into the week by now, so I wish you well, and hope that whatever you do in the time remaining before the weekend, you do with honor and purposefulness. Someone will remember what you did, and that someone may very well be you. Or your dream-self.

Yours always,

(C) Copyright 2010-2013 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.

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