Saturday, 10 March 2007

The Dream and the reality

I have travelled before.

It is certainly a desire of mine to be touched by the experiences offered by another country or community and its culture or people. I want to visit many places in this expansive world, both near and far, and I am sure I will. There is only the assurance of time for any one of us, and although the exact quantity of time remaining is ambiguous, it is our choice how we spend it.

When Ashley and I travel we tend to get a little carried away about our trips. We study guides and map out full programs along the most efficient routes, in order to fit it all in. We generally come home satisfied that we got to "see" all that we wanted to see, and more, but seeing is one thing, but what about "being"? Well I guess that is where "the dream" comes in.

I have been told a couple of things about "the dream". Not the dreams we have when we are asleep, but the things we would like to see happening in our experience of life. I have been told that everyone has to have a dream to keep them going - to keep them interested and motivated. A dream or ultimate goal enables us to plug away at the daily grind, endure hardship, and survive. Viktor Frankl discusses this at depth throughout his book Man in Search for Meaning..

Another perspective tells us that a dream is not something we should necessarily strive to achieve. Rather, it is something you simply hope to achieve, and by thinking about our dream often; imagining every detail; seeing ourselves 'there', basking in the moment of its full, untainted-by-reality, glory, the dream itself, rather than its achievement, gives life meaning.

According to these lines of thought, if we were to fulfill our dream, we might find that we no longer had anything to live for, or worse; the reality of the dream could be utterly disappointing, and we would have wasted our life on an unworthy dream - so says the 'crystal merchant/tea house owner' in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist (another recommendation). Well find ANOTHER dream, geez! dream.

My dream was to live overseas for at least one year. OK, done. Life over. Just joking..... Yes that was a dream of mine. I know it isn't that exotic, people do it all the time. Although I haven't yet returned, so I guess I am still living out my dream. It was a worthy dream, because it wasn't exactly easy to pull off. It took some courage, and I have learnt much from the experience. But now that this dream has been attained, I do need to grab hold of the next rung and reach for something else along these monkey bars of life.

I think perhaps I have had two dreams... maybe more if I really think about it. The living overseas one, which possibly emerged as a teenager - I had a ridiculous number of overseas penfriends and I was simply fascinated to read about their lives.

The faint dream of one day becoming a writer is a secret I have long held under lock and key, and close to my heart. I have enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember; for me it is a release or (until recently) a private act of unburdening.

I started out writing limericks and short poems for Possum Pages (a kids creative purge in the local Sunday newspaper. Quantity rather than quality was the general mainstay of the Possum Pages I am afraid- it had to be said -not sure if it still exists though).

If published in Possum Pages, you were sent a certificate and sometimes a book prize. Some of my "work" was published, along with the lovely drawings my brother always seemed to produce. I can't actually remember any of my fine contributions, so I might provide an example (they were probably awful anyway).

In high school I wrote letters to friends, morbid private poetry full of teenage angst, and silly stories for English class.

As a young adult I continued the poetry, but the creative side got lost for a few years, while I wrestled my mind into the rigidity and discipline of "anything but creative", academia. I did write a thesis, I guess that is something.

Today I write this blog; I email friends; I have attempted to renew my passion for bad poetry writing; I have even entertained writing short stories, and children's books, but the dream of becoming a career writer remains as elusive as ever; and since all other career aspirations appear to have been blocked by a higher power to ensure I never take one step down that shaky and questionable road, I am more strongly noticing the writing theme in my life and am testing its importance to me.
Maybe I will never be a great writer. Perhaps I will never write anything worth publishing, bar my lonely thesis, which sits in some dank and uunfrequented corner of the university library; full of my now trade mark editing paux pas, oops. But it is a dream, a worthy dream, and a dream that keeps me going.
*This post was enter as a contribution to the Sunday Scribblings prompt - Dream journey. If you are interested in the contents of night dreams. I posted such an offering only a couple of days ago. If you are remotely interested, here is the link to Dreaming.


Susan Abraham said...

Hi Strauss,
I like your dreams especially the writing ones and I do think they're worthy.
And maybe you will be a great writer...
good luck! :-)

Remiman said...

I was quite captured by your "Scribbling" here, because it mirrors so many of my own feelings.
I too dream of living for an extended time in europe, and of becoming, at least, an established writer.
I agree with your tenent of needing to dream. Achieving the dream comes in second to having the dream in the first place. Your thoughts here today have lifted my spirits immensely.

DewyKnickers said...

Thanks Strauss for stopping by and commenting.

I was told that trying to be a writer is not the case. If you write, you are a writer. I think your dream is wonderful and very attainable.



david santos said...

this work is very good, thank you
have nice wkend

Regina Clare Jane said...

This was a lovely post, Strauss. Dreams and our hopes for the future do keep us going... and its sad to see when people give up on their dreams.
I would love to live overseas as well someday- maybe in Asia- and like you and rel, be a writer also! I think that' something a lot of us have in common!

Kimberly said...

You write something worth publishing every time you post, in my not so humble opinion.