When I in grade 3 I was walking down West 10th avenue across from the playground of my school. As ever, I was completely absorbed in my imagination and having a debate with Jesus about why women couldn’t be Apostles. I really did believe back then he was entirely real. I suppose I was so involved in this discussion in my head that my lips were moving too. I became aware of a noise outside of me and turned. There were kids from my class pointing at me, laughing and laughing, keeling over at the crazy girl talking to herself and the sharp contrast of my imaginary world and the real world collided in a crushing, humiliating moment I would never forget.
I have always lived in my dream world. Most storytellers do. I think much of the time one’s imagination is a refuge, and also a place of tremendous pleasure and beauty and it is easy to see why, when your imagination is such a lovely place to dwell in, reality might point fingers at you and laugh saying, ‘wake up’, ‘get real’, ‘snap out of it’, ‘stop dreaming’.
However, I knew if I were to do any of those things then I may as well hang up my saddle and wander off into the woods never to return.
What is life without dreaming I ask you?
Today as I sit and watch the winter sun flood my living room and sip my stronger than any stomach should endure coffee, I am deeply grateful that I was born a dreamer. Because in dreaming I found the love of my life.
It was an impossible situation. Any ‘realist’ would have said: Don’t be ridiculous! You live 9,000 km apart. You speak different languages. You are middle-aged for pete’s sake!
Snap out of it. It’s an illusion. It will never work.
And yet. And yet. The same dreaming self I have always been whispered inside of me: Don’t let go. Whatever you do. Don’t let go.
I ignored the sharp edges of impossibility and instead only saw my darling, who I had been dreaming of for my whole life. His lovely eyes, his beautiful smile, his golden heart. Everything else falls away.
If all of those fingers pointed at me now I would only say, shhh, be silent, close your eyes, and see how your dreams need attending to.
And then I would take the hand of my darling and dance merrily into the sunset.