Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dream for a time in the wilderness

In sandlot football (we actually played on a church lot; it had grass), you diagrammed your play on the palm of your hand. Or maybe you used a stick, drawing it up on the ground. You run a post pattern, you run a go route, you go across the middle and get open. When the plan worked, it was money.

Maybe it's the same thing in life. Rough sketch it in a notebook, follow the scheme, touchdown. Start with dreams for the line of scrimmage. That's where you start. Send vision, passion, sweat and fun long and have them catch the ball in reality.

The trick, there are actually many, is that dreams and vision in particular are not ready made. They are some assembly required and don't come with batteries included. Shit, now I've mixed metaphors; bear with me.

Recognizing our dreams. Jim Carrey gets it. Watching him draw up his life's play at a commencement speech might be the best investment of a couple minutes of your day you can make. I empathize with his story about his dad (except I am the dad), choosing the safe job instead of trying to make it doing what he loved, then getting laid off anyway. And I wrote Carrey's take away message in my notebook. I might post it on the refrigerator: "You can fail at what you DON'T want, so you might as well take the chance on doing what you love."

My time over the last couple weeks has been about being in touch with dreams. It's been applying for jobs, some I want, many I don't. It's been running, doing yoga, strength training, meditating. Hanging with the girls. Walking the wilderness of my mind.

It is a commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and love for a time in the wilderness. - Loren Eiseley

Go apart and love for a time in the wilderness. Literally and figuratively. The Beastie Boys said "a castle in Brooklyn is where I dwell." I've gone quite the other route. I downsized. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, living room, kitchen, dining area, deck. Next to the woods and a huge field that can only be filled by the girls' imagination. Kickball, bocce, field hockey, soccer, fort building in the woods.

I choose not to be a slave to a house that is bigger than I need, that is more work, that keeps me, and/or the girls from truly carpe'ing the diem. I would rather dream and try to make that dream a reality than spend my time, my life, on upkeep and keeping up. Fu** the Jones's (no offense, Jones's).

I am not to the point of living in or building a tiny house, but man do I get it. If you are a Netflix fan, I recommend checking out the documentary, "Tiny: A Story About Living Small." Honestly, I think I was more inspired by the architecture and the folks they interviewed, particularly Jay Schafer, founder of Tumbleweed Tiny House Co., than by the couple who builds their crib, but there is a lot there to take in on many fronts.

What does it mean to try to realize your dreams? What does it mean to go after them? To cast off what society wants you to do, to be, and try to become what you want to be? How about I leave you with thoughts from three folks you might have heard of, rapping on dreams:

People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes. - Neil Gaiman

Those who dream by day are cognizant of a great many things which escape those who dream only by night. - Edgar Allan Poe

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country. - Anais Nin

Alright, everyone to the line of scrimmage. We're going to audible.


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