Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Hold fast to your dreams, for without them
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.
Langston Hughes, poet; he was born on
this date, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri
One of America’s greatest poets and writers. He was known as “The Poet Laureate of the Negro Race”. You can find a biography here: http://www.kansasheritage.org/crossingboundaries/page6e1.html
Langston Hughes knew about broken dreams. He once poignantly wrote, representing so many:
I swear to the Lord,
I still can't see
why Democracy means
everybody but me
Being a Human Being can be so disappointing! I find it so, at times. Think of Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman”. On a scale of one to ten, relative to the six billion people of the World, I’ve had it pretty damn good. I started in a flat in Verdun, Quebec, went to university (when it only cost me about $1500 a year) and got a degree, joined a monastery, went to seminary, got a Masters in Divinity (ain’t that classy!), and retired as a priest after 40 years in ministry. And I can actually say I am happy, blessed, loved, befriended, and charmed by many things.
I “dreamed” of being a musician; that didn’t happen. I dreamed of being a holy monk; that didn’t happen. I dreamed of lots of things that didn’t happen. But what did happen was, I found out that one does not have to be enslaved by dreams, as if they trap you when they fail of “coming true”.
No. I found that Dreams are one of the few “renewable energies”, one of the few inexhaustible resources. They constantly morph into new possibilities ….. just like those weird dreams one has in the night.
Any “spiritual practice” worth its salt and worth commitment will teach us both to latch on to dreams because they nourish our Being ….. and not to cling to them when they become irrelevant. I think part of “faith” is to believe that dreams will be our guide forever ….. and they will teach us to trust in ourselves, to be flexible, to be amazed at Life’s possibilities, and to follow the paths that open without expecting them to last forever.
Life is too extravagant to have only one Journey. Dream on.