Monday, September 8, 2008

Awake and dreaming

501 posts. That's the number today. Since starting this blog a year and a bit ago, I have written 500 days. It's a startling number to me. I began this process without a clear idea of what I would do with it. After writing almost every morning (I tend to not write on Sunday mornings), I've come to a nexus, a crossroads of sorts. What will the next 500 be? I have an idea. A thought that is growing into a body of work. I have a dream.

When I was driving to La Guardia airport last week to catch our flight back to Canada, I asked the cab driver where he was from.

"Egypt," he replied.

"How long have you been here?" I asked him.

"Nine years. I'm the only member of my family to leave Egypt," he said.

"What made you come?"

He smiled, nodded his head, his eyes never leaving the road ahead as if his dream was just up ahead, just around the bend. "The American Dream."

I was surprised. I had never met anyone who moved for The American Dream. "Is it true?" I asked. "The dream?"

"Absolutely. You've got to work hard. But it's possible to create a better life. There's freedom here. I work two jobs, my wife is an accountant. We are doing it."
My fellow Americans, this is an amazing moment for me. To think that a once scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become Governor of California and stand in Madison Square Garden to speak on behalf of the President of the United States that is an immigrant's dream. It is the American dream. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Thomas Wolfe said, "…to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity ….the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him."

To dream the impossible dream. To reach the unreachable star.

Once upon a time, I dreamt of writing a book. I wrote it. It was published. My dream doesn't stop there. I have other books to write.

Once upon a time, I dreamt of speaking up for humankind, of speaking out against what keeps us down. I am doing it. My dream doesn't stop there. I have many words to share. My dream is to inspire, to reach out beyond this space to wide audiences.

Once upon a time, I had a dream.

I still do.

It's up to me to keep the dream alive. To keep dreaming and stepping forward on the path to making my dreams my reality.

Like my taxi cab driver who dreamt of being free of a society which would keep him in his place, I am free to dream big, and reach higher than I could ever imagine.

Dreams aren't meant to sit on shelves, gathering dust. Dreams are meant to be awoken, shaken up and lit up like a Christmas tree, casting a gold glow upon your day, leading you ever forward on your path. Dreams are meant for living.

The question is: Are you living your dream? Are you shaking yourself out of the doldrums of sleepwalking through your day, reaching beyond the limits of your imagination and stretching high? Are you awake and dreaming?


Anonymous said...

hooray for you!

500 is a big number; I've got my own coming up in a couple of days . . I used to wonder if I would make it another week and now I am approaching 2000 consecutive days; my book is still a work in progress . . as are several other 'working title' collections of things that seem to fit under a heading or a theme

the dream, there seems no Canadian equivalent, our American friends speak of is not my dream

my dream is to free myself from the treadmill of 'work' as it has defined my life to work on the treadmill of thoughts in my head - to be free to daydream all day if I want to or work 30 hours straight if I want to

the 'dream' is not about work but rathe the product of work that gets me there

what's next?

that's the best question

looking forward is so much more thrilling than looking backward - looking through the windwshield, looking at all I can see

that's my dream

happy Monday,


M.L. Gallagher said...

Thanks Mark! Yup -- looking forward is so much more productive than looking back.

Though -- for me, my dream is to live my day working at what I will -- loving every moment of my work and play.

Happy Monday to you too!