There is a conceit that we can only have in our lives that which we can imagine. As the saying goes, “If you dream it, you can do it.”
But, what if you can’t dream it? What if your ability to
dream is hampered, and you can only see the smallest of your dreams, the tiny
parts of a big picture?
Because there’s also the phrase, “Beyond your wildest dreams.” So if something is beyond what we can conceive for ourselves, then the entire
point is that we can’t dream it. Right?
Yes, we’re getting a little metaphysical this morning.
Because, maybe a year ago, a friend sent me a link to the
Oprah and Deepak free 21-day meditation challenge. I’d seen others “sharing” it on
Facebook, and I thought, what the hell.
Since then, I’ve done these “challenges” on and off, and I
also continue to receive little “gift” meditations in my email here and there, like I did yesterday.
So, yesterday, I sat with one, and today, I searched back through my email to
find a different one to do, and I clicked on the one entitled, “Intentional
We are asked to envision one of our dreams, in vivid
Technicolor, fleshing it out. I’ve written here
before about this one I have of
me in a white kitchen, I’m like 50, there’s an art/music studio detached in the
back. It’s an open floor plan kind of place, that you can see the kitchen from
the living room.
What happened for me this morning was that I added an
11-year old boy to the picture. After yesterday’s birthday party for a friend’s
11-year old, I felt that desire. (In fact, I’ve been feeling more clearly a desire to spawn my own offspring, which surprises me as much as it worries me.) But, – I love boys that age. They’re feisty, but
still sort of willing to listen to authority. They’re not too pubescent to be
very unsure of themselves and therefore super defensive. They’re funny, sarcastic, and full of energy. I love
spending time with kids that age. In fact, I’d taught kids that age a few years ago at
So, into my vision of my “dream” for myself, now there’s a
boy, a son, perhaps, perhopes.
And then I tried to envision the partner, because I do want that. My partner, my
husband, my beloved (gag). And I have a really hard time doing this. It was like a person flickering in my vision: sort of there, sort of not. I begin to remember my Dad and
my parents and how so very awkward their own interactions were. So forced and
I can’t keep a solid image of a man in the kitchen to help
me as I chop some vegetable at the center island. I can’t believe in a vision of a partner
for myself. Even in a daydream.
So, I have to wonder: Can I hold an intention for myself
that I can’t really see?
Or is there work to be done to allow myself to have that
kind of love and joy even in the confines of my brain?
Which I suppose, the answer is Yes.
I have very few models of happy married life, but I have two
that I thought hard about this morning, trying to see if I had any at all.
There was the family I babysat for down the block growing up. A married couple
who were symphony musicians, and their three sons. They seemed happy. Who
knows, but to me they arise as a model for familial contentment.
I mean, even last year, when I went with my brother to visit
our old house in New Jersey, there was the dad, older and grayer, but with the
same winning smile and generous spirit, installing a flower box via a
jerry-rigged pulley system with his youngest son. Who was about to go off to
college that Fall. I remember taking care of him when he was 6-weeks old.
But here they were. I heard about the other two, and this
one, about to go to school for musical theater in Texas. It was pleasant, this
whole scene. It felt nice and right, and they live in a small house on a
tree-shaded block in one of the most pleasant areas of the state.
The wife wasn’t there, because she was in New York, playing
with the Philharmonic. But his eyes told me they were happy, they were
satisfied with how their life was turning out. This was their vision.
The second couple are my mom’s friends from my growing up.
They’re sort of like my second parents in some ways, and we’ve become closer
the older I’ve become. Their life hasn’t been easy, but it has been happy on
the whole. And they love one another like … well, like we all hope to be loved.
So, I suppose I do have models for what I want for myself.
And it will be about remembering them fiercely in the face of “I don’t know,”
and “Not for me,” and “How can I?” that come up. In the face of scarcity and fear and
deprivation, I am going to have to be diligent about calling on these models
for hope and health and change.
Because I have some vegetables to chop, a partner to laugh
with, and a son to make faces at.