Friday, November 05, 2004

dreams for our problems

Walter Mills is a writer of uncommon, quiet wisdom. He writes a column for the Center Daily News that also appears on Saturdays in an email list I subscribe to. Last week he was talking about what it was like to be alive, to be an American dreamer in the days when man first walked on the moon. He describes the wonder of it writing:

I cannot forget the awe we felt as the first man walked on the moon. Or how quickly we lost interest and abandoned the lunar missions. Instead we turned our attention to Vietnam and Watergate, the oil embargo - we gave up our dreams for our problems. ~ Walt Mills

Can't you picture the innocent joy of that moment, of literally walking "where no man had gone before"? How quickly it became common. And I think we do that in our own lives, how quickly well let wonder tarnish into ordinary. I love how Walt put it "we gave up our dreams for our problems". There is such truth in that. It's as if our dreams are something that we carry in our arms, cradled at first. But in time we lay them aside, we put them down, we trade them in for the problems of our day. That is what we carry with us to sleep at night and what we turn to in the morning. We give them up for "important things".

We willingly take on problems because they are common and predicatble and can be discussed over water coolers. Everyone understands a car that breaks down or a bill that is late. No everyone can understand a desire to ride your bike across the province or write a children's story or giving up your day job to run a drop in center. Maybe we give up our dreams because deep down we want to be ordinary, we want to fit in, we don't want to be extraordinary. So often we spend our days staring at the ground and get angry at God because we cannot see the sky.

I want to hold on to my dreams. I want to write that book. I want to give up my problems for my dreams.

You can read all of Walt's column here

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

Excellent post Claire! You know, you're so right about how we trade in our dreams for our problems because not everyone can understand them and we just want the security that ordinariness brings. I myself will have to make one of those decisions soon. I guess everyone makes those choices but it takes courage to pursue dreams. Well, I hope I get to come to your book signing one day. Thanks for the inspiration!