I went to a poetry reading today, on the theme of “The Romantics and Dreams”, and I left inspired, and happy. I had realised something of great significance to me:
I’m not the only dreamer.
(John Lennon would be pleased with this, I’m sure.)
There is a tribe I belong to, it exists since the beginning of all things, and I can see it now; they left their traces everywhere. Artists and writers with names like Wordsworth and Keats, Gaiman and Rowling, Pollock and Kapoor, they all walk with this tribe. Douglas Adams belonged to it, Frida Kahlo did too. Derek Jarman, Jimmy Liao and Hans Christian Andersen are right in the middle of it. People praying, people writing, people painting. So many. And I belong to it too. (And so does John.)
It’s a good tribe.
Belonging to this tribe means that you give thanks daily for the gift of imagination, for its freedom and comfort and challenge. You are at home in invisible realms of magic, mystery and fantasy. You know and cherish beauty, you never forget that it is part of the elemental substance of all worlds, and that a determined search for beauty will inevitably lead to truth. You know of tenderness. You know the myths. You dream, and are not ashamed to confess it. You are an artist, both in the most mundane of tasks and in a masterpiece. You strive for an ideal. And you will not be satisfied with less.
It’s no surprise the Romantics were rather melancholic at times. Ideals don’t usually go well with the devil Reality. But this is the work. We work to remind ourselves and all tribes of the ideal. How else would we know what to aim our lives at. We need to know where true north is. And in this tribe, we find true north in our dreams, we understand the world in abstracts, images, metaphors. We need poetry, we need visual arts, we need dance, we need beauty in all its embodiments. We need the impossible, the unknowable, the invisible.
So there you are.
Happiness and celebration to us all who recognise that we don’t dream alone.
(And in case you read my previous entry – this is how to be a poppy in a wheat field…)
Imagine. You are not the only one.