Dream Big Dreams

Mon Aug 04 2003 10:37PM -0600

Let me get the self-pity out of the way first. Now here is someone who believes in me so much, definitely more than I believe in myself. If I believed in myself even a fraction of how she believes in me, I might very well conquer the planet. And yet, due to the awesome combination of my cowardice and inability to trust (we'll get to that later) as well as the fact that she is not attracted to me in That Wayâ„¢, I am, as usual, left with beating my head against a brick wall. But, that, as they say, is that.

I have been goaded into remembering that it is important to dream big. It scarcely matters that you don't even come light-years within reach of your target. Stars are, after all, just big, burning balls of gas, and to actually hit one would be incompatible with life. Of course, you don't want to get lost in the great big black void between the stars, either, but, as with everything, the sweet spot is somewhere in between. (There is that quote for which I am too lazy to look up the attribution to: "I saw a star, I reached for it, and missed. So I accepted the sky." OK, I googled it. It's by Scott Fortini. Who the hell is that?)

Now, none of my dreams have any practical aim. In fact, some of them are downright borderline suicidal, and half the time illegal. Pure Sir Edmund Hillary syndrome. For example, I want to go to Antarctica. Absolutely no good reason. Not many people's idea of fun. It seems like pure suffering, really. And, really, I want to go to space. I want to be the physician who gets to go to Mars. (Most likely, to asphyxiate painfully and slowly, but hey, whatever turns you on, right?) Shall I keep going? I want to drink Remy Martin Louis XIII. I want to dangle off of the rim of an active volcano just before it erupts. I want to see the bottom of the ocean. I want to jump out of an airplane. I want to sail across the Pacific on nothing but the kind of boat the Polynesians used. I want to go to Reykjavik and try to get a glimpse of whatever it is that inspires Björk and Sigur Rós. I want to cross the United States on foot (I know, I know, someone is already doing that. No, I'm not talking about Forrest Gump) I want to go to Alaska on the Day the Sun Doesn't Set. I want to try LSD, PCP, and laudanum. I want to hang out in Tibet. I want to see Jerusalem, Mecca, Rome. I want to check out the Basque Country. I want to go to the Amazon rainforest. I want to see where Jorge Luis Borges lived in Buenos Aires. Yes, I know, a lot of these are just places. Or mind altering substances. But I've got to start somewhere.

I want to meet someone I can say "I love you" to, and have her already know, and I don't ever have to say it, but I will anyway, because I can, and it's true, and there is no reason to doubt. More, I want to show the places around where I grew up which I now take for granted, the jagged crest of the Sierra Nevadas and the desolation of the Mojave Desert, the near-infinite expanse of the Pacific and the sandy shores of the Beach Cities, to someone for the first time, someone who after years and years can't help but be so much like me, despite despising me for all my failures and faults as a father.

I want to write a novel, paint a landscape, sculpt a nude. I want to sing forever and ever in the sweetest voice, like Orpheus. I want to learn how to play the flute and the harp. I want to learn how to play the guitar like a motherfucking riot. I want to bang on drums. I want to be a rockstar, even for a second.

I want to see everything, and learn all the names. I want to CREATE.

Mostly, I want to do something with this restless, roving mind of mine, to plumb the depths of the infinite mysteries of the universe and perhaps maybe, maybe come up with some pearls.

Oh man. Now, all these things in this post, I basically pulled out of my ass, and I admit, a lot of them are really lame. For some sad, complicated reasons, I have stopped having flights of fancy, have stopped dreaming, and so I'm out of practice. Despite my continuing discomfiture with this System of ours (global capitalism, the First World, call it what you will), even still, I have been seduced by this vision of "normalcy." Married with 2.5 children and a 2.5 car garage, the house of course being in the suburbs (although it is quite trendy to live in a gentrified urban neighborhood nowadays.) Normal, my ass. Thank you, M, for reminding me that there is no such thing as normal. You only have your dreams, as meager or as megalomaniacal as they might be.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.  Mark Twain, Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar
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