He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven
HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
My Granny said that, as a child, she had a recurring dream about sweets. This, bear in mind, was probably during the rations of wartime Holland. The dream was realistic enough that she could almost taste the sweets, and she would wake disappointed when she realised that the sweets weren’t real.
What if one day she woke and there had been real sweets in front of her? She would have been happy, probably, and excited. But for some moments, I assume she would have felt doubting, disbelieving, felt the need to touch or taste the sweets before accepting that they were really there. The need to pinch herself before accepting that she was really awake.
When my dreams come close to realisation, I feel the need to touch or taste them. It’s in the nature of a dream to be unreachable- until it actually becomes a reality, you can’t touch or taste it. You can see it in your mind’s eye. You can feel the emotions associated with it. You can hear its echoes in your head. But you can’t be sure it’s real… until it is.
Once it’s real? You spend a lot of time pinching yourself, a lot of time disbelieving, a lot of time doubting. You can’t quite believe it’s happening. You taste the sweets but you feel slightly detached from them because you can’t quite face their reality. What if they’re not real? What if they disappear again, the way they always do? What does it mean, you ask yourself.
If you have had a dream come true, what it probably means is that you have put a lot of time and effort and hard work into its realisation. That is probably what it means. If your dream is just steps away, it probably means that you need a little more effort, a little more time and let’s face it, a little more luck. So much of life depends on luck. If you have put time and effort and hard work into your dream and it still hasn’t come true, you are probably in need of some luck.
When a dream comes true- even when it comes within reach- it can be scary. Scary because a dream is safe for as long as it stays a dream. It can remain untouched, perfect. It can remain your escape. Suddenly, it’s there in front of you and you are going to have to look at it properly, with all its faults and flaws. Stranger yet, you are going to have to live in it. It is like having built a house, with an idea of how the light falls through each and every window, and then realising that the fifth stair creaks when you step on it.
Living in your dream, you come to learn every creak and still love how the light falls in.