...If you look up the word "dreamer" in the dictionary, you might see a picture of me next to it
Or not. Who knows. Maybe not in this universe, but somewhere, I'm sure someone has taken notice of just how much time I spend with my head in the clouds. Maybe this is why I would never do well in the corporate world, crunching numbers, writing memos, firing those who just aren't up to par. I could never be that person. At least I don't think so.
Much of my writing over the past several months has moved away from what I like to call "internet therapy" into something more broad in scope. I'm glad most days of this shift, but there are times where I miss having a public place to simply write about me. And the last thing I want to do is add yet another website to manage in hopes that I'd one day have page views comparable to other infamous bloggers out there. I still dream of a day where I get 20,000 hits in a day. And perhaps someday that will happen. For now, though, I have to admit that I'm still finding my voice. For the moment, that voice can't see past the walls of my own apartment, can't think about anything other than my own life. Hopefully, for the next thousand words or so, you'll forgive me for that.
I found out Wednesday that my plan of going to seminary part time all of next year isn't going to work. My scholarship demands that I go full time, unless it's my final semester. This has caused a decent amount of anxiety over the last few weeks, compiled by mother's surgery on Tuesday (which went just fine—she's a little hoarse still), and some conflict at school on Thursday. With my schoolwork for the semester finished, and with a few free days before I leave to go to Rome, I'm left with time on my hands. So I thought the best way to get over my exhaustion and temporary writer's block would be to revert to some selfish processing.
I wish I was at Bethesda...
The fountain near the middle of Central Park in New York. I still remember the first time I saw her in person. It was my first trip to the city. I was staying with a friend down in SoHo and decided that my first free day I wanted to visit the Big Apple's very own oasis. I'd seen Bethesda in Angels in America, and ever since, I was, well, obsessed. Something about her outstretched wings, her unreadable facial expression, her fixed posture of eternal strength and protection.
I was wearing headphones, listening to a song by Shane and Shane called "Still at Shore," a song about loss and love. It had been just over six months since Nanny died, and the wounds caused by her loss had barely begun to heal. I wandered around the park, uncertain of the steel giant's location, until finally I approached the plaza whose stairs lead down to her home. I'd been playing the song on repeat, guided by some unseen force that recognized the need for the two to be paired—Bethesda and grief. As soon as I saw the first glimpse of her wings, the tears hit. No place in my history, save Nanny's own home, has ever caused such an upwelling of emotion within me. I'd been singing along with the song, hopefully more on key than off, but suddenly my voice choked. I wanted desperately for her to reach down and pick me up, wrapping her divine arms around me. I wanted to feel the healing power of her waters washing over me, letting me know that all would be well. But there she stood, shut off because of the winter season. Quiet. Still. Motionless. And so I just stared, hoping to hear a word from the messenger. In my head came the words often uttered first by a human encounter with an angel in scripture: Do not be afraid. And so I wasn't.
You can't win the lottery unless you buy a ticket
One of my girlfriends likes to buy a lottery ticket now and then, usually only after it hits an exceptionally high payout. We've had countless conversations while eating ice cream, drinking, coffee, walking, or window shopping about what we would do if we ever won. It's an exercise in dreaming, in imagination. We talk about where we would like to live, how we would divide up the money between ourselves and our loved ones.
I dream of owning the house from Love, Valour, Compassion—the one whose stairs have such a gentle rise that even the most arthritic of persons could climb them effortlessly. I'd have friends over for all the major holidays. A table fit for an army. A kitchen that sees more use than the entire Food Network studio. Instead of a dance studio in the attic, I'd have a library with soft lighting, lined with books that have each been read (and marked up) countless times. I imagine owning several of these homes across the country, and maybe even around the world. They wouldn't be for me. They would be similar to Mother Teresa's House for the Dying: a place where those close to the end could come and find comfort in their last days, regardless of their financial status. Unlike so many, I find a comfort and solace in death that instills in me the kind of peace that passes all understanding. No one should die alone, in fear, feeling unloved, unnoticed. No one. Who knows? I might even call this network of residences "Bethesda House," each with their own ironclad statue. Sure I'd travel, buy a car, splurge on some luxuries. But what's the use of being rich if you hoard it all for yourself?
...The tenth commandment will be my undoing
You know. The one about coveting your neighbor's wife. Okay, so maybe I don't want my neighbor's wife (though my mother might find a certain happiness in hearing that part of me is apparently straight). But I do struggle with wanting what others have. Disposable income. The ability to travel anywhere they want, whenever they want. A full head of hair. A perfect body. A career that puts them center stage, right in the core of the limelight. I envy the characters from Smash, wishing someday to be on Broadway. I wish I had the brains of House or Sherlock Holmes, hopefully without the grandiose ego or complete sense of narcissism. I want y own wardrobe that takes me into a fantastical world like Narnia. I want the body of Brian Kinney from Queer as Folk, able to be noticed by anyone and everyone.
On our wedding say, I sang "Nothing More" by Scott Alan. One of the lyrics says, "I want a family. I want a husband and child. I don't need a house on a hill. I just need a home that is warm and beguiled." Later in the song, Scott writes about wanting a child. Maybe more than just one. The fact is, above anything else I've ever wanted, some piece within me wants this most of all. But the more Frankie and I talk about it, the more we realize that parenting may not be in the cards for us. At least not now. And we don't know if it ever will be. And so I recognize that all this daydreaming, all of these fantasies, exist as a way to cope with the pain of not knowing which of my true dreams will ever come true.
What do you dream about? What are your fantasies? Are they realistic? Are they life-giving or distracting? I hope you can find your true dreams. I hope they come true. Most of all, I hope you find love and never have to let it go or lose it.