July is the month we say goodbye to writers who are retiring or moving on to new adventures, and this is Kyric’s last post. He has been writing with us since August 2019.
“Please don’t ever forget this song…or me” —Marin, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
“Listen close, friend, and hear me tell
of chances we all take
within the hands of sultry sleep
and shifting dreams we make.
The beauty of the night we find
speaks soft from out the heart
amid the shouting thoughts and din—
a haven set apart.
Though mortals scoff and turn their head
to journey in the dark
immured within the quilted breast
shines forth the brightest spark.
Twin passions burn with entwined light
each with its potent gleam
heart’s ceaseless beat or fondest wish—
and yet, what is a dream?”
Dreaming can embark humankind into a realm of possibility. A world of color and sensation, a revelry to while away the plaguing stress and weighty responsibilities of the maddening mundane day. Only the best remains. Do anything, be anything. Self fades into legend. Wonder, joy abound here, and difficulty exists only to be overcome—an end it cannot evade. Death means nothing. We slip between its grasp. Everything is exciting or laughably absurd. Absolute freedom reigns, unbound by laws or judgment. When nightmares come, they can be easily dismissed, forgotten, overwritten. Night after night a new fantasy awaits the ink of our thoughts.
But a dream is not a departure.
Dreaming can endanger humankind. Little things, weak things, nonsensical things which wither in morning’s light—these should not be given the fuel of our thoughts, time, or feelings. Dreams are unreliable, distracting, incomprehensible. To surrender to them is to surrender life. Nothing is gained from them; nothing is produced. They are the intermission of life, not its essence. Practicality must triumph. It is the only thing that truly exists, can be formed. Too much is at stake to risk on a dream. Expectations crowd, each calling progressively compellingly. Nothing is fortuitous; all must be earned. Dedication and discipline matter most.
But a dream is not a detraction.
Dreaming can elevate humankind. Betterment begins with a destination. The end is always clearest in a dream. With the remnant scraps of memory left us, our mind’s eye paints the ideal picture. Not as is or was, but what we want it to be. Perfection awaits, ready to be chased, ready to be lifted to secure prominence, whatever it is. It will always be waiting, always be pristine, no matter what. We can rely on it even when we cannot rely upon ourselves. We are not the ones who shine. We are not the ones who inspire and evoke change. But we know, somewhere, somehow, something like that does. It does us good to know that good will always be present, somewhere, somehow. A wish can make it so.
But a dream is not a desire.
Dreaming can exhort mankind. The will to do surges within us. We want to seize our goal, to stamp our name on the world, to seal our legacy. Turning the ephemeral into something tangible seems impossible, but it is exactly that challenge that stirs us, makes us worthy. Worthiness makes all the effort worthwhile. When the last accolades arrive, then it is time to start the process again—the neverending chase for applause, approval, for ourselves. There is always so much to do, and time never waits for us, always casting its shadow from the horizon, making us pursue. But it matters little because we are doing something.
But a dream is not a drive.
Dreaming is natural. No one can escape it or to it. It becomes more real, more desirable when we open our eyes to it. And though our eyes are open, it sustains us. We begin to obtain complete awareness and acceptance of our surroundings and our role in them.
Dreaming is painful. Dreams require sacrificing ourselves. What we desire and labor for does not always come to fruition. Once born, a dream takes on a life of its own, even as we give ours up for it. We may not even see it fully grown. We may not always get to see the ripples those dreams leave behind.
Dreaming is understanding. Our placement is not paramount. Height pales in comparison to depth. A platform should be a bridge to connect, not a palanquin to conceal isolation. The reach of a dream stretches beyond what we think, reverberating through generations.
Dreaming is balance. It is neither the goal nor the process. Imagination, productivity, will if used wrongly cannot elicit a meaningful result. Purely seeking results, too, is limiting. For results are beyond our control, beyond our imagining, our will, or our doing. All we can do is gather what we have and give.
A dream is a dream because we share it with others.
Art credit: Pertheseus.