when do we let our dreams come true?

stencil graffiti, all green capital letters: Stop. Look upGood Friday morning! Here’s a longing for you, a hello from young lettuces, strawberry plants, new eggplant leaves, tall mint and basil, furry borage leaves, tiny, reaching arugula. No owls or deer on our walk this morning, though we did meet a couple of dogs, and at least one of them we didn’t bark at, so that’s some progress.

Last night I dreamed that my home, our home, was a homebase for a good friend (who, in this real life, just recently moved far away) — she was a world traveler who would come back and stay with us whenever she came through town. She had her own key, could let herself in, and I met her in the bathroom, when she was showering, and I was filled with this kind of deep joy to find that she’d come back. It was a sense that what we had was enough to share.

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Getting all prepped for tomorrow’s Writing the Flood! This is a fun monthly workshop, where you can join with fantastic community and dive into and play with your own writing. We have several spaces still open if you’d like to join us!

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This morning I’m thinking about what it’s like when you have a strong sense of your own presence, and an awareness that others don’t share that sense.

Sophie is teaching me about my presence. She listens when I’m here, as in, all the way in the moment with her. She doesn’t listen when I’m not here with her, when I’m giving commands from just my head or from just my frustration or ego. Then she’s gone, because I’m gone.

I thought about how often, in crowds, I disappear as far as others are concerned — people will walk directly in front of me without any acknowledgment, no sense or idea that they have just nearly interacted with another human. I have spent lifetimes feeling like a ghost. Who am I ghosting? Who’s ghost am I?

I think it’s this: when we give up our dreams, we become, at least in part, those dreams’ ghosts. The dreams don’t evaporate from the world. We carry always what passions lie in us unfulfilled, what desires festered in our bellies and hearts, what possibilities we turned inside out (in order to be practical) instead of following to their true ends.

Yesterday I talked with her about my lifelong dream to write books, and sat with the feeling that old dream manifests still in my body. Felt the longing and sorrow and fear. How to turn back and let the dream come to fruition?

What we pay attention to is what we care about, what we love and revere. I notice what I’ve been attending to all these long years that I haven’t been actively working to write/edit the books I want to publish. It’s been 32 years since we first knew what we wanted to do when we grew up, the 6 year-old in me says. We were going to be an author. How long do we have to wait?

Do we finish growing up when we let our dreams come true?

Yes, we got turned away from that desire. Yes, someone actively shamed us until we turned our heads another direction. Yes (I put my face in the cold water of it): we aren’t in that situation anymore. Could it be time to look back and let the dream (that old driving force, the place I felt I betrayed) come back home to us?

Today I have a writing project I need to finish and will send my book proposal out to another publisher.

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Are you working with a character who has some unfinished/unrealized dreams? Where do those dreams live inside them? What about you? Where do your unlived dreams reside? Take 10 minutes, begin with the phrase, “My (his/her/your/hir) dreams live…” — complete the sentence however you’re most drawn to, then follow your writing wherever it seems to want you to go.

Thank you for your fidelities, your presence with and to and for what really matters to you, the way you have let your dreams become deep inner fires, and the ways that you let those fires blaze up again when it’s safe to do so. Thank you, yes, for your words.

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