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Entries in dream (3)

Friday
Mar302012

Lottery Dreams

Some of my favorite moments from the last few weeks of my iPhone 365 (+1) projectI like to think that I'm in touch with the zeitgeist, if not the actual current events of the day (since, you may recall, I turned off the news last year in an effort to retain my tenuous grip on sanity).  One byproduct of this willful ignorance is that I have become the human version of the "water cooler," which is to say that if it's big enough news that people talk about it around me it's probably Very Big News Indeed.  Big like, say, a $540 million jackpot.

I'm not much of a lottery player since I never have cash and also am not lucky in that random-drawing kind of way.  But a co-worker put together a lottery pool in the office yesterday and I figured whatthehell?  It's not like I want to be the lone employee left at the office if all my colleagues are suddenly raptured by the Mega Millions.

Like untold thousands of Americans yesterday, I then embarked on daydreaming about what I would do with my share of the office loot.  The first thing I noticed was that I don't want to change much.  My life is already filled with so much beauty that I wonder how I could possibly deserve it all.  Sure, I would probably trade in my 8-year-old car on something with fewer random rattles.  I would be happy to know that Ezra's college savings fund would be more, er, robust than it currently is.  I would definitely pursue my long-time dream of designing and building a custom home, but still in the neighborhood where I now live.  While I would likely quit my job, I certainly can't imagine a life that doesn't include work.  I love to work, I get satisfaction and meaning from my labor.  I guess I would just be more selective about the projects I undertake.

I would buy that new Nikon D800 I've been salivating over. 

And the 24-70mm 2.8 lens. 

I would push this dream of becoming an artist. 

I would act like someone who could not fail.

These thoughts crossed my mind and then I realized, I don't have to win half-a-billion dollars to do those things.  I am already cultivating my artist life.  I am already saving for the D800.  I could choose, today, to act like someone who can not fail.  If I could manage that, imagine the authentic meaning it would bring to my life.

I know I'm probably underestimating the psychic impact that being suddenly catapulted into the 1% would bring.  I might suddenly be turned into Gollum, corrupted and covetous of things that now barely ping my radar.  And on the infinitesimal chance that our numbers come up tonight, I'll be happy to take the opportunity to prove myself under those circumstances.

But noticing that my dreams don't require that kind of luck is its own kind of win.  Talent, work, and chutzpah?  Yeah, I'm going to need a whole lot of those.  But at least those are the things I don't have to leave to random chance.

Monday
Nov142011

Bright Spots

I have a confession to make: I stopped consuming news. 

I say this as a former journalism student, a person who had a short-lived journalism career, and someone who has fervently believed for my entire adult life that it is actually my (and all of our) responsibility to know what's going on in our community.  That's the way this whole democracy thing is supposed to work, after all.

But something happened, somewhere between the debt ceiling crisis, the 47th Republican Presidential debate, and the tear-gassing of Occupy Wall Street and I just couldn't take it anymore.  I got this very clear sense that all my efforts to inform myself were making me angry, despairing, and - perhaps worst - dumber.

So I stopped.  Cold turkey, basically.

I am not so willfully ignorant as to be unaware that millions of people are still out of work, the presidential contest is already mind-numbingly cynical a year ahead of the election, and sports gods exploit children while entitled kids riot in the streets in an inconceivable protest.  The amount of bad news out there is chilling.

But here's the thing:  there's a bright spot, and I'm pretty sure it's growing.

I feel like I'm talking to a lot of people lately who are daring to dream out loud, living from their hearts.  A lot of people lately are telling me stories of transformation in their lives, saying that their dreams are coming true.  The more I step onto this new practice of mine, the more I know I am not alone. 

A friend told me this weekend that she's found a way to do potentially groundbreaking scientific research on mothers and newborns outside of the rigid confines of the academic establishment.  That seemed impossible a couple years ago but she's doing it now.  Another friend yesterday told me she's on the verge of scaling up a program she created to take art supplies and art therapy to underprivileged kids around the world.  A series of inspired synchronicities combine with hard work to look like a small miracle.

I hear these things and think Sorry NPR.  I don't need you anymore.  I want to smother the politics and the business-as-usual with a wet blanket.  I want to give all my oxygen to the small sparks of inspired work I see around me.

I'm back to my favorite MLK quote:

Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.

It gives me a little glimmer of hope, this vision of a small but growing critical mass, lighting the way.

Friday
Oct212011

Mind's Eye

It goes without saying that the novelty of the ocean is intoxicating to a landlocked girl like myself.  It would be unjust to describe the coast off Pacific Grove, California as beautiful.  It is of course, but that's not enough.  Something about the thick fog that rolled in on our second day and refused to budge gives the place a dreamy, romantic quality in my mind's eye.