On Dreaming

And what do we do when we are not dreaming? I believe that for many of us our dreams are not yet fully formed. Or perhaps they were made that way. Is it hard to believe that we might be given fractions of dreams? How many dreams are realized isolated from other people. Americans, we dream individually, and others tend to fit only when they fill a spot in our own specific dreams. But they have dreams too, I think, and that’s where the tension lies. People are people and not cogs, they have parts and layers that just tend to not fit. Or maybe it seems like they fit but then you walk around the side of your dream and realize that there was this third dimension all along, and now you have the awkward, unwieldy parts of people, heretofore unseen, sticking out willynilly, writhing because they’ve been pushed and pressured and bent to fit into the holes that you’ve made for them.

But that is only for the few of us who can actually read our dreams. What do we do when we are not dreaming? We spend most of our lives awake, in the real world. I have the impression that most of our dreams are somewhere, deep and hidden, rooted in this idea of “changing the world” and/or “making a difference”. But in our quest to become the types of people that can make a difference, to enter the types of careers and have the types of friends that can “change things”, how willing are we to neglect the things that will make a difference and change things Now?

I am beginning to suspect that I invest about 5% of my time and energy in present things and maybe the rest in the future. But how often have my expectations for the future become reality? How much can I trust my ability to train my vision forward and actually hit a walkable path? CS Lewis said something about how at least the past has happened and is concrete. He said that someone who lives in the future doesn’t even have that, but that the most important thing is to live in the present, to find out what God has for you in the present because that is the only thing you have control over, and because ” the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.”

I think I am just beginning to doubt this idea of ends justifying means. I am beginning to doubt the mechanism that convinces me that it is a good idea to train myself to ignore the hungry and poor that intrude (in honestly, pretty offensive ways) upon my life Now, in hopes of developing and training myself in a way that will make me a more effective advocate and helper for the poor and oppressed in the Future. Was I not isolated from hard realities for most of my life? Am I not now realizing that what I learned during those years left me almost defenseless in the face of real life and pain? Why do I continue to think that if people would just leave me alone for the time being that it would somehow make me more loving, more compassionate and more willing to serve in the future?

I just have a lot of questions, I guess. I am also becoming more open to the idea of joint dreams. Maybe if I listened more, more to God and less to ads and the media and random people, I might receive some strange, disjointed dreams. Dreams that seem less like a full and complete narrative and more like a glimpse, a few lines (or maybe even a full chapter) of a greater story. Dreams that really don’t make any sense unless the other people in my life are real, full-on people. Dreams that don’t make any sense until they are over and have been joined to others’ hopes and desires, that ask much from and give much to all involved.


In other news: Yesterday morning I woke up to otherworldly cries of pain, anguish and  confusion. “WHY???”, “AGHHHHHH!!!” and then pounding on the wall. I woke up (and it was a good thing because I was late for work), thinking some terrible tragedy had happened, and found Ken pacing his room in severe distress. It turns out that it was much less serious (but somehow, much more serious) than I had thought. He was obviously bothered but his face alternated from smile to grimace to frown. He may have been in tears. Godspeed brother, the journey is long, but the treasure may or may not be worth it.


~ by justinhong on June 14, 2011.

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