That’s a question I asked in prose once. I pondered it as if there were an answer. It pains me that sometimes, there are no answers. I like things concrete. Black and white and written in stone. Promises. Even though in my experience promises get broken more often than not, they still lend a false sense of security. People make promises, I believe, with mostly good intentions. Then, the closer it gets for promises to be fulfilled, they find ways to renege. Does that shake our confidence in people? We get so used up by the outside world, sometimes it’s safer to just stay inside our own little cocoon. Even if it’s wrong, it’s still easier to stay with an already steered course than go into the wake and risk being dumped in the drink, and drowning. One of my worst fears...drowning. Large bodies of water are scary. Perhaps it’s because it’s a metaphor for life. We stay on safe ground, feet firmly planted, instead of venturing out into waters unknown and risk being sucked in by a current. We can see the palm tree and fine white sand, the beautiful vibrant hued birds, and crisp sunshine on an idyllic island...yet, going into the water to get there is so scary, we slink away back to our safe comfort zone. We trick ourselves into being happy, or at least OK, with the way things are just to avoid taking chances. What does that leave us? Unfulfilled, hollow inside, and apathetic towards life in general and especially towards people. So, if someone should come along who has honorable intentions and does keep promises, we may not even recognize it or if we do, we’re so scared of the unknown we run like hell from taking chances and miss out on something that might have truly been worth the risk.
Sometimes, the line is blurred between reality and fantasy. Our dreams take us to a safe place, because no one can get inside our heads and mess with our dreams. We have complete control over that. People with selfish intentions can trick us into believing usual daily life is more essential than our dreams, and we give up on our dreams having been convinced that wanting any other life than what we have, is silly. Inconceivable. Because we’re taught from childhood to be practical, not idealistic. Take the safe route, don’t take chances. Then, before we know it we’re waking to a mediocre life at middle age surrounded by mediocre people who don’t dream and don’t believe in dreams or that our dreams can bring us happiness. So, our dreams remain inside our heads intermingling with our everyday lives until something, or someone, comes along and rattles them out.
My hero in “Random Encounters”, Veronica Walters, believed in her dream. It took her until she graduated from Harvard Law to realize that her dream is the one that mattered, not her family’s dream for her. She broke out of the mold that had been sculpted for her by her family, steeped in their traditions and values. She ventured out on her own, searching for her own traditions and values and after putting one foot in front of the other and mistrusting people and being used by people at times, she stumbled into her own path in life, which led to her own truth and happiness. A truth she found under her own terms with her own dreams, and learned from her own lessons and her own mistakes. We can’t get much more honest than that, can we?
I’m extending my two for one offer just so you’ll have that prose I spoke of earlier, along with some other ramblings that even if not entertaining, does make a pretty decent cat box liner. Go to my website to order “Random Encounters”, I’ll include a copy of “LiveLoveLust” and I’ll send them off to you in a jiffy. I like that word...jiffy...
Independently yours this 4th of July holiday,