Thursday, December 11, 2008

Making Room for Dreams

I've been thinking about dreams that seem unattainable, and remembering the year that Ron and I moved to Florida in late March for a stay of two months. We looked for an apartment in Pensacola, but were told, by the landlord of a small, dark apartment, "I don't rent to transients (sniff)." We went right out of there, drove across the bridge to Pensacola Beach, and found a lovely, light-filled townhouse for rent right on the beach, and within the same price range. Somehow I've always thought of that as a lesson in going after what we really want, that we shouldn't just assume it's out of our reach.

I don't even pick up books like 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, because I already have a mental list, and like my to-be-read list, it's already too long for me to get to all the places (especially at the pace I walk). But I don't intend to cross anything off, even though I have learned the folly of trying to visit too many people, or places, in one trip. Ireland is pretty far down on my current list, except when I read things like Seamus Heaney's poem Postscript:

And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

During the holiday season, it's easy for people (especially parents, I think) to get so busy they close themselves off from opportunities to have their hearts blown open. How can you make the time this week (which is neither here nor there, a hurry through)?

4 comments:

lemming said...

Watch for the unexpected. It's when we get complacent that we miss the incredible, IMHO.

harriet M. Welsch said...

I remember this poem, or at least its last line, which blew me away. And for what it's worth, I'd move Ireland up your list. It is the single most incredible trip I have ever made. I don't think I've ever been so blown away by a place I haven't lived in.

Cschu said...

That IS a poem to make you want to go to Ireland! Thanks. It reminds me of the time, many years ago, that my parents and my uncle drove down the length of Argentina to the straights of Magellan, across from "Tierra del Fuego." They sent a picture of them sitting at the edge of the water looking across at the Glaciers on the other side. Their postcard didn't say "Come visit us!" It just talked about standing on the edge of the water and hearing the big "rifle cracks" as icebergs broke off of the ice shelf across the straights. The bergs falling in the water would raise the level of the water enough to put my parents and uncle ankle deep in water on the other side. They didn't LOOK all that big, but they were probably the size of a largish house. Ever since then I have wanted to go to see the glaciers of Antarctica.

Rebecca Reid said...

Oh that poem gave me shivers. I'm interested in reading more (ok, SOME) poetry in the coming year. Heaney sounds great.

"You are neither here nor there,"
Am I ever in a place like that?!