We all have dreams. Big ones. Little ones. Quiet ones. Loud, audacious ones. Dreams of living lives of wonder. Dreams of great adventure. Dreams of discovering far off lands, of creating stories of greatness in our lives.
Sometimes, our dreams come true. Sometimes, we let them go because life happens.
We fall. We face a wall we cannot climb. We trip over a rock that sends us flat on our back.
In our pain and fear of getting hurt, in our concern others will laugh at us or judge us for our failures, we lock away our dreams and continue on our journey taking the safer path, the road more travelled.
We do okay. We create a ‘good enough life’. It’s just not the life we once dreamed of. But that’s okay, we say. Dreaming is for children. We’re “all grown up now”. We have responsibilities. Success. Things. Secure inside the comfort zone of the life we’ve created, we forget about our dreams and carry on living our good enough life.
And then, one day, if we’re lucky, something happens to remind us of our dreams. Tentatively. Hopefully. We unlock the cage inside our heart where we tucked away our dreams long ago and peer inside.
That’s where the magic happens. That’s where our dreams peer back at us and ask, “Are you ready to come alive?”
It’s a big question because if we say yes, the next question we must ask ourselves as we peer into our hearts and gaze at the sleeping beauty of our dreams unlived is, “Am I willing to believe in myself?”
As with all the pages in this altered book art journal, embedded within the page is one of my mother’s prayer cards. Also included are a photo of my mother and father hidden behind the smaller bird in the cage.
I hadn’t intended to hide them. Initially, I was going to transfer their images to the page with a technique that requires you to rub off the photo backing so that only the ink from the image remains affixed to the canvas. I started the process with the prayer card only to discover, while that technique works well on a canvas, on a book page the vigorous rubbing off required to remove the backing paper can tear the page of the book.
I wanted to quit. To give up. To tear out the page and begin again.
And that’s when this page became something entirely diferent than what I started to create.
Isn’t that what happens to our dreams sometimes?
We start out all excited and open to the journey until we encounter an obstacle or something goes drastically wrong. Feeling dejected, or embarrassed or possibly hopeless, we pack away our dreams and continue on our journey. It’s a little less bright. A little less promising, but it’s okay. It’s a good life and we should be grateful for all we have.
We tell ourselves, “We didn’t really like that dream anyway,” or some such conjured up story that will hide our disappointment. We’re living well so we ignore the ache in our hearts and the yearning in our minds to fly higher.
Until one day, something happens and we remember our dreams. We remember we are brave, courageous, worthy. We remember we are dreamers.
In that sacred, rarefied air of possibility, we take a step outside the confines of our comfort zone and take a deep breath.
We stretch our arms wide.
We close our eyes.
To believe in ourselves.
To set our dreams free.