You want something. You wish, long, ache for that something. You wish for such a long time, the ache becomes part of who you are: it has a location in your body, you can feel it’s boundaries and when they change. It maybe even has a flavor. It becomes familiar, so familiar it fades into the air you breathe. It melts into your tissues so completely that the wish no longer seems like it’s for something outside you. It exists in its own right and no longer reaches forward. The aching wish has just become a fact, like another organ. So much so that when someone, a friend, asks playfully, “What do you really want? What would make you happy?” you name other things, because you’ve come to accept living with the wishfulness of this wish and no longer imagine it happening.
It happens. Seemingly against all odds. It’s reality creeps up on you because you’ve substituted the reality of the want, which you could have, for the reality of it existing outside you. You misinterpret the cues and clues that your improbable magic dream has come to be, in real flesh and blood. Until one day something stares you in the face to say, “I’m here.” It’s here. The thing you’d thought couldn’t be, could only be in your heart, could only exist in a rarefied world of longing, has come to be in the world of death and decay, life and becoming. Holy. Shit.
You re-arrange your entire being – no. Your entire being begins to dissolve in the moment your dream’s reality dawns on you, and it begins re-arranging you. You are the wish now, it is the reality. But that means it is in peril. This is the world of life and death, being and becoming, being-with-dying. It’s vulnerable to wind and rain, love and indifference, blows and embraces.
You harden. Trying to protect the dream that is not a dream. Willing it to be as invulnerable as it had become when it only lived in your heart. Oh. My. God. What if I lose this most amazing thing? You resist becoming a living wish because the blood coursing through that living wish could run cold in an instant of loss. Because blood is now running through your dream, which makes it a real dream: it can bleed. But it can also dance.
You thought you were a living wish before, because you’d absorbed the dream that seemed impossible. But it was a living void, which is very poignant, but not the same. You have the chance now to become a living wish: to hold a space of love and ferocity and tenderness for something not-you to grow in. This is much more risky. We all have a living void – it is at the heart of being human. But to choose to become a living wish: to tend a dream that will inevitably become bigger than you, will not bend to your will, have a life and death you have no say over, to hold that space patiently, fiercely, acceptingly, knowing that just because you assent to this adventure doesn’t mean it will turn out any of the ways you’ve wanted, that it will likely read and manifest the very things you are most threatened by, that your care and love cannot keep your beloved – or yourself – from harm, that the fulfillment of your desire and will can only lead to their own dissolution: to choose to embrace and get caught up in this madness is the hardest thing I’ve ever contemplated.
This dream may be a book or a business, an empire or a family. We all have our improbable blessings. It is so very human to bow their improbability, to have cakes or cars in their place when the improbability of the beautiful thing that lives in your soul asserts itself over and over again. And this resignation – relinquishing our illusions and attempts to force the improbable things into being – is itself part of their re-arranging us. Ceding power is part of the adventure it seems. Absorbing the longing, saying yes to living with it, even if it never reaches into the world we share with all the others, is perhaps part of the dissolving process.
But then – joy of joys! – we are called upon to resign our resignation. This penultimate step of re-arranging our being is perhaps the most heart-breaking, so far, for me the most difficult to accomplish. Can you step into the reality of that longing? To dissolve enough to become the thing that contain the waiting and joy and the tenderness and the pain and the love all in one house? Are you strong enough to yield to this coming true? Can you feel all the joy and love and electricity of your most cherished dream wriggling toward the light, knowing that you may lose it again, for good, irredeemably, in an instant? Hop on that train now, because that loss may be just around the bend. The loss will be no less devastating because you weren’t on the train, but you will lose so much more: the time you could have been in heart-rending, soul-tearing love.
And who knows? Your improbable blessing may grow to full heart-breaking reality. To be the bigger than you thing that brings things you never could have even dreamed. New things to grow and break your heart. Could you be so lucky?
- The Improbable, the Impossible, and the Painful (madgeniusclub.com)
- Weekend Writing Warriors (jessielansdel.wordpress.com)