June 5, 2017

In Praise of Dreamers.

I’ve always been in love with dreamers.

As a child, I dreamed without restraint. I did not calculate the cost of my dreams or perform a risk analysis of my likelihood of success. I chased dreams like fireflies in the summer sky, believing that living a dream was as easy as catching the light and placing it in a jar on my bedside to chase away the dark.

As I grew older, I stopped chasing the dreams, and instead, bottled them up and placed them in a forgotten corner. It was darker, yes, but I didn’t know how to believe in the light anymore. It was easier to put it away—and forget.

But, I watched the dreamers. I never stopped watching them. Perhaps, at first, in envy. But then, in awe and admiration. Those who never for one moment gave up.

The people who talked about their dreams, their faces lit up like those fireflies on a summer’s night. The ones who took incredible chances and then opened their arms wide to receive all of the blessings in the universe. And I marveled at the risk, but also at the open arms, the trust that their dreams would be honored—rewarded even.

I admire all the dreamers who ache with passion and who endure tremendous pain—but keep showing up and keep believing. They, too, have heard all those things that the world has told us of what we should do and who we should be, but they have still chosen to chase their own bliss.

Dreamers may dream different dreams, but I admire their endurance, their grit, their absolute belief. I love their beautiful full lives and staggering potential and how their free souls make us shine all the brighter—or, at least, help us recognize when our own lights have dimmed, and challenge us to reignite them.

They refuse to settle. They believe—even when the odds are stacked against them. They wait, calm and believing, for dawn even on the longest night. They trust that their dreams are simply a little further from their reach and still theirs for the taking.

And as I thought about this, as I thought about dreamers, I realized that I had followed their light out of my own darkness. I had taken down that bottled dream and uncorked it, letting the light free once more. Me, with words and stories. Someone else with a camera lens, a paintbrush, a stethoscope, a tightrope. Someone with an idea. Others with a cure, a solution, a treatment, a song that soothes, or one that ignites our passion. Different dreams—all as necessary as breathing.

I remember watching and wishing, and then one day I took up my own light and headed into my darkness. I followed a path through unfamiliar territory, and I discovered that my world wasn’t flat. Nor was it walled or entirely charted. It was instead, a place filled with stories and filled with words, so many words that I couldn’t contain them. I couldn’t alter them or change their shape.

So I let them be, and I offer them up:

In Praise of Dreamers

And the words began to flow

with their own rhythm through my mind,

defining this thing that I’d never defined.

The only borders were ever in my mind.

The uncharted place there

was mine all the time.

My face became lit from within as I spoke of the words,

skipping and tripping out of my head

from the time I woke up until I laid down in my bed.

Then they came in my dreams, in my sleep through the night

so I took a deep breath and followed their light,

although I didn’t know where they would lead.

I simply followed this terrible need.

Then, in the uncharted place where dreams come into being,

I remembered the dreamers who smiled softly seeing

the deeply authentic life of the soul

who steps off the path and follows a goal.

Now I count the dreamers.

I count the dreams.

I count each and every marvelous thing.

And we can be the light that makes someone else yearn

and not one that causes whole worlds to burn.

In love with the dreamers,

they gave me their light

so I can pass it to you on this darkest of nights.

Lit from within,

our fires call out

to leave off your fear

and your worry,

your doubt.

To do the thing now that inspires your soul,

that makes your heart happy,

that makes your life whole.

And forget what the world told you.

Remember only the dream

and count it

and every marvelous thing.


Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Nikko/Flickr
Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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