Tag Archives: dreams

The Open Gate (Part 1)

Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a beautiful land where nothing was impossible. The King of that beautiful place had given her a seed for big, lovely dream, and with all the trust in her heart she awaited its blossoming. Because she was a child, the heavy seed and the big dream it contained didn’t terrify her. She didn’t ask silly questions like, “How will my dream ever blossom and grow?”

Then hard things happened, and to the little girl’s eyes, these hard things overtook the beautiful land. Her childhood home seemed overgrown with weeds and thorns. So to protect herself from the pain of a dead dream, she placed the dream in a tiny box and hid it deep inside her heart. No longer little, she hacked away at the weeds and thorns with tools fashioned from duty, responsibility and fear. But the buried dream somehow added depth and intricacy to her tools, so that sometimes she could use them to produce tiny, pretty flowers. She decided to use her tools to survive, forsaking the big dream. But the tiny, pretty flowers were incomparable to the dream she’d put away.

The King was very kind. He often tried to show her that the beautiful land was still near if she would simply look beyond the weeds. He sustained the hidden dream with tiny rays of sunshine and little drops of rain. But the silly girl thought she had found a way to sustain the dream.

In her journey she’d come upon servants who were building a hospital on behalf of the King. She offered to help them build the hospital by sharing her tools with them. One day while she was serving at the hospital, the girl walked down a path and passed through an open gate. There she found a lovely garden. She thought, “My tiny flowers would thrive in this little garden!” The servants agreed, and from then on she would often pass through the gate and into the garden.

Each time she passed through the gate, she’d find a small, tasty meal that the King’s servants had left for her. The meal was just enough to sustain her hidden dream, and this made her happy. So she would regularly walk through the gate and eat the meal. She trusted that these servants would always feed her this way. She didn’t realize the meal was the result of the King’s tiny rays of sunshine and little drops of rain.

But then one day the gate, through which she’d always so freely walked, was shut and locked.

The girl despaired, but she decided to wait for the gate to be opened again.

Meanwhile, the dream began to starve. But rather than wither and die, it burst out of the tiny box and hungrily sought the King’s wonderful nourishment. At first she tried to ignore the hunger, but soon she realized this was useless. Desperate, the girl ran to the closed gate, begging, pleading, banging and crying for the King’s servants to open it again. But the servants ignored her. As the dream became more and more hungry, the girl became more and more desperate. Why would the servants not open the gate? Why were they ignoring her cries? Had she done something wrong? Was there something wrong with her?

Soon her desperation turned to anger.

To be continued.

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I Get Out!

I think when you dream about driving/riding/operating a vehicle, that vehicle represents your life.

That said, for several years when I’ve dreamt of driving, I couldn’t see. Sometimes the windshield was blocked; other times it was foggy outside. But most of the time, I was falling asleep at the wheel and couldn’t keep my eyes open. I was terrified I would crash. Yet I was so tired that I couldn’t apply the brakes.

I think it’s fair to say I’ve been navigating my life feeling out-of-control, powerless, blind and terrified.

That’s why the dream I had this morning feels significant:

I was sitting in a minivan in a parking lot. Some people were trying to get at me. I wasn’t scared of them, but they made me nervous. I hit the lock button to keep them out, but they kept trying the doors. Finally I started up the minivan and drove away. The weird people followed on foot.

Suddenly I was driving a huge bus–like a Greyhound. I was in a big closed-in building, and there was no door big enough for the bus. So I put my foot on the gas, maneuvered this huge steering wheel, and busted through the door. Brick and mortar flew everywhere. And I laughed out loud because I was free!

Yeah. I get out of your boxes.

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Break Free, Get Up and Dance

I was meant to dance. I know it.

I just finished watching several back-to-back episodes of So You Think You Can Dance. It’s always bittersweet: I love to watch the interpretation of rhythm with body, the exertion of such beautiful control, the making of every emotion into a physical expression. But at the same time I feel jealous and unfinished, like a put-together puzzle with just two or three small, missing pieces.

I have always, always wanted to dance. My mom took me to see The Nutcracker when I was 4, and I knew it then. All my friends (and any grown-ups who asked) knew I was going to be a singer, an actress and a dancer when I grew up. But I was a military brat, and travelling overseas meant there just weren’t opportunities. We finally returned to the States when I was a pre-teen, and moved again to Fort Meade when I was 14. I quickly discovered my high school offered dance, both as a PE elective and as an extra-curricular activity. Nothing could’ve stopped me! I finally got to do what I knew I was made to do. Years of pent-up wanting were released. I felt real and solid and free. I saw a picture of myself in the yearbook, leaping through the air with one leg straight ahead of me and one behind, my toes pointed. I looked like I was made to fly! Sure, there was teenage angst and confusion and all that garbage. But when I danced I was entirely myself and entirely confident.

Less than two years later we moved again. And a few months after that, I got pregnant. My life wasn’t mine anymore, and I had to grow up, let go of hopes and dreams, and be practical.

My oldest son will be 21 in a few weeks, and I still dream of dancing. While I watch those children perform miracles with their bodies, I am so filled with regret. Some would say, “Why not take a dance class?” But let’s be honest. I’ll never be able to move that way again. At least not here in this body on this earth. I’m sad about it.

Nonetheless, I was meant to dance. I know it. This being true, I can only conclude that I have to dance.

I read this book called “Rescued” years ago. It ended with a man who had gone to Heaven by the skin of his teeth. His role there was a gardener. The biggest thing I took away from that book was that we will still work in Heaven, but our work won’t be drudgery. It will be a fulfillment of the things we were created to do here on earth, and therefore work will be a joy. So I’m convinced that in Heaven, somehow I’ll be a singer, an actress and a dancer. I don’t know how, those things don’t seem practical for Heaven. (Well, a singer might be.) No matter, I just can’t imagine He created this natural pull in me, only to let it die with my body. (And really, it’s time for me to lose the notion of Heaven being all clouds and choirs and harps. How stupid.)

I’m going to dance in Heaven, unbound by bum knees and chubby legs. I’m looking forward to it with every fiber of this being He created in me.

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Where did they go?

I just watched Glee on Fox. It’s a show about a teacher who wants to bring the high school’s floundering glee club back from the depths of obscurity. At the end of the episode the kids performed the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.

As they performed, I felt the thrill of music and dancing and youth in my heart. I remembered being in high school show choir with my whole life ahead of me. I remembered being in high school dance club, leaping into the air and feeling like I didn’t belong on the ground. I remembered when it was still possible that singing, acting and dancing would be who I was and what I did. The feeling that bubbled up in my heart was like … the last day of school; like the smell of summer; like endless days of nothing to do but play; open skies and meadows made for running, meadows that went on forever. Freedom and joy and excitement.

I don’t watch shows like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance because they came too late for me. It depresses me to watch them doing what I would have done had those opportunities been available 20 years ago. I’m jealous. (I also don’t watch American Idol because of the travesty of Elliot Yamin not making it to the final two and winning the whole thing. Those morons.)

I feel imprisoned by time gone by. Where did my dreams go? When did living override life? When did practicality override risk?

If you’re still in high school or college and you have dreams, let me just grab you by the lapels and get in your face. You need to know two things: One: Your future is impacted by the choices you make today–good and bad. Make good choices. Two. What’s your gift? Are you passionate about it? Then go for it!

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