Sunday, 10 January 2016

New dreams for a new year

Here we are 10 days into the new year and it feels normal again. That first flush of - what is it? optimism? energy? enthusiasm? - has washed off in a week's worth of showers. And we did have some rain in Sydney (and elsewhere). But what now? Those who spent Christmas or New Year's Eve alone ... did you really miss all that much in your solitude? Or were you better off having more time to just think and dream.

For we all dream. Dreams come even in our awakening and remind us that we are something more than mere mortals. And dreams are something different from resolutions, which are a more practical type of dream, more utilitarian, merely reducible to short sentences, compact phrases, soundbites. Dreams fly beyond our grasp and take root in strange places, they are volatile and occasional, like hand-written letters, like voices from the past.

I was reminded of the past today when I was out walking. I was on my way to buy coffee and to get to the shop it takes about an hour on foot. I felt immensely sad. It was an overpowering sadness like the idea that the world was about to end, that all things would suddenly cease to exist in a flash of explosive light. Something like a visual dream. But the feeling wouldn't go away. I walked slowly through the streets - as is my usual way, to walk slowly - and I dwelt on the feeling of sadness, a feeling like loneliness, a feeling similar to what you feel when you lack something essential. You miss something.

But strange things happen, for a few days ago an old friend got back in touch with me and we talked. Then today another old friend got back in touch with me. We talked also. Miracles happen when you least expect them to. Something can be lost but another thing can equally easily be suddenly found again, despite your never even thinking of that thing in your diurnal rounds.

Out of the blue - strange expression! - it emerges like a bird in flight to take up a perch in a tree next to you and start to sing. Or it emerges like the sun glancing quickly and brightly off the side of a usually dim city building. And there is light! The world is alive with promises and with the stuff of dreams. Even though things might seem desperate we can somehow all at once reach a new epiphany as something novel appears before us. There is always reason to hope. Always reason to dream.

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