December 08, 2010

The Boy Who Dreams Is Not A Boy

More than 30 years ago a boy with dark curly hair and hazel-green eyes got into trouble because he didn't listen to his parents. It wasn't because he climbed up on the stove, stuffed raisins up his little sister's nose or smashed eggs on the floor. Nor was it because he would wander off in stores. Actually it was all of these things and more.

That little boy got into trouble because he was a dreamer who lived inside his head. He got into trouble because at times he was impulsive and when that was matched with a heavy dose of curiosity it made for a child who was willing to test the limits. He got into trouble because he was stubborn and if he was upset he was willing to accept the punishment that came with not listening, at least most of the time he was.

At five he decided that he was unhappy with the idea of being punished so he tried to negotiate terms with his father. Instead of being sent to his room he suggested that they engage in a fight. It sounds silly to hear the tale of the five year-old who thought that he could defeat a grown man in hand-to-hand combat but the boy was a dreamer.

A dreamer who grew up to be man who still dreams.  A man who at times has lost his way because he lost touch with his dreams. It might sound silly but those dreams provide roots and a foundation for who he is. Those dreams are like the long flowing locks that graced Samson's head. Cut off the dreams and the man becomes weak, uncertain and less than who he could be.

But restore those same dreams to their rightful place and he grows strong, confident and capable of doing anything. Those dreams are like the light of the yellow sun for Superman, the source of his power. Those dreams feed his imagination and fuel his intellect. They are a resource that he draws upon to map out the path of his life and help to create the plan for making it happen.

Those dreams are the yin to the yang of his logic. They enable him to see life in ways that others might not. They provide vision of a future that he couldn't otherwise imagine. Dreams provide structure and they provide hope. They provide a connection between the boy and the man that he uses for his own purposes.

Decades later the boy turned man looks in the mirror and sees a face he doesn't recognize. It angers him to think of how much time has been wasted on things that don't provide value to his life. At times he is frustrated and it hurts to acknowledge that he is the source for much of his own distress. He recognizes that he is his own worst critic and that some of the blame cannot be laid at his feet. The dreams do not make him prescient. They do not bestow clairvoyance upon him or bless him with the sort of superpowers that are given to those only found in comic books or on television.

But he hopes that maybe he has a different sort of superpower. He dreams of the gift that he received on January 15 so many years before. He remembers when it became apparent and the feeling it gave him. He knows that some would consider themselves to be the king or queen or low expectations. They are far more tactile in their approach and forget that logic and reason cannot be relied upon as the sole arbiters of decisions to that must be made.

He smiles and remembers that they may have started a story whose end must wait until somewhere down the road. And like every good dreamer he looks up at the moon and remembers that sometimes the people that are most important are the ones you never knew you needed.

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