Tag Archives: Dreams

Lost Dreams

Child by fabii from http://www.deviantart.com/art/child-61251692

Sometimes I imagine you running through some unending shopping mall

Realizing that somewhere along the trip you lost hold of me in the crowd

Perhaps you stopped to gaze at some curiosity in a shop window for a moment

And I was gone, moved on by the crush of the crowd’s unending, unfeeling flow

Tears streaming down your cheeks for the companion no longer there

As both our futures were severed by forces beyond our control


Like a parent who came to a new country seeking hope for their family

Only to find that family ripped asunder at the border, children caged

Fighting bureaucrats and their cold, unfeeling mountains of paperwork

Fanning the embers of hope for some eventual reunification

Only to find out that you are gone, given to a new family to foster

Just a dream who has hopefully found a new father to be cherished by


Some part of me won’t accept that dreams die when reality shatters them

When life moves on, when circumstances change, when new dreams are born

Something makes me hope that they find a new heart that beats with theirs

Someone who cherishes them the way that I did as they grew and changed

That they have a future beyond the fracture, and that they find joy and love

That you may be the dream that another person raises up for the world to see

When a Dream Dies

Glimpse of a Dream, IR photo of French River by Paul Bica, 2013 shared under creative commons 2.0https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Dreaming#/media/File:Glimpse_of_a_dream_(9391068364).jpg

Often they simply fade into the night, slipping into the ether
They dwelt for a brief time deep within our sleeping mind
We wake with no remembrance of their sojourn through synapses
Our short journey with their evanescent existence in the dark
Yet, rare visions weave themselves into the warp and weft of the soul
Their lives become joined to our own, birthing hopes and aspirations
A symbiotic connection of between vision and will, the dream and dreamer
And when that dream dies it takes a piece of us with it into oblivion

The Djinn’s Warning

Djinn by Remton at deviantart.com

Dreams you think I peddle, yet nightmares are what I sell
Fondest wishes may be the path into your darkest hell
If who you are and what you have don’t leave you satisfied
The things that you would ask me for will leave you dead inside
The wishes you are about to speak won’t fill the hole within
So, think carefully before you speak these wishes to the Djinn

You think you will be satisfied with wealth beyond your dreams?
Wealth I will give, but not enough, though gold flow down in streams
Money a cruel master is, though it starts a gentle drug
Even with more than you can spend the emptiness it won’t plug
Possessions can indeed possess and men of means grow mean
Defending what he thought would give him freedom makes him obscene
Perhaps it is the beauty, the princess that you seek
Though she is pleasant on the eye she isn’t for the meek
For though I can grant you what you need to get into her bed
I will not grant you release from the questions in your head
You are the one who thought perhaps an angel at your side
Would make you more than who you are or calm the boy inside
Fame it is a fickle thing and power fails you too
Although it makes you for the moment bold and new
But soon you find it is just another mask you have to wear
An act you play, a part to act, a path into despair
You’ve sold your soul to become the person others need
And their applause and adulation becomes your source of greed
Oh, I’ve been asked to grant the master work of song or pen
And I’ll grant one but remember the inspiration is not within
You’ll try with all your life to reach the pinnacle once more
But all the notes or words you write fall hollow to the floor
In years to come they’ll look back and remember the one hit wonder
This work forever more will be the shadow that you live under
Strength and speed and athletic skill or enemies who are laid waste
Athleticism I can grant for a time but you’ll find it’s just a taste
Strength and speed and skill they come from years of discipline
But when it’s given suddenly the regimentation is not within
And one enemy’s place another soon will fill, a vacant space is free
You won’t have changed, and nature it abhors a vacuum. See!
If I an evil spirit were, this warning I would not make
You humans somehow do not to see the thing makes you great
For somewhere deep inside your soul there is long dry well
Some unrequited emptiness into which you seem to dwell
Your wildest wishes I will grant, but eventually you’ll see
There is a hook, you will want more, you are as trapped as me.

Neil White, 2017

Wisdom of Story: Reflection 4 Daring to Imagine a Bigger Story

Marc Chagall, Solitude (1933)

Marc Chagall, Solitude (1933)

So, this is the final of the Wisdom of Story reflections after working through this course with Brené Brown and Glennon Doyle Melton (reflection 3 is The Rules which is more of a poetic reflection on the content) and it ended with a profound challenge: what is a community challenge or a global story that you want to write yourself into? This was a hard question because it forced me to think of what are the things going on in my community and in the world, that breaks my heart and to pay attention to that. Where I ended up was highlighted by several conversations I have had over the past weeks and I think it is an area where I need to spend some time both reflecting and creating opportunities to imagine a different big story.

There are so many places where I have seen a growing cultural anxiety paired with malaise in the church, in the communities around us and in the nation. There are so many pieces of this: I believe that we have become addicted to anxiety, almost like a drug, by the continual presence of news and information constantly throughout our lives. Anxiety sells even if it is not an accurate representation of reality- news programs present the worst aspects of the world continually before our eyes and we believe we no longer live in a safe place, even though statistically we are significantly safer than 20 years ago. Like many I have gone through our current election cycle with a bad taste in my mouth because of the ways the candidates have been portrayed. While character matters when elections become primarily about tearing down another person’s character or even demonizing one’s opponent we all lose. I am dismayed by the loss of civility in our public square, where one whose ideas may be different from our own are not only dismissed out of hand but may even be considered ‘un-American’ and in a digital age it is easier to become a troll out to destroy the other person. We live in a polarized and anxious world where there is less of an American dream and more alternate versions of an American nostalgia for a time and place that never truly existed. We become so consumed with work, with taking care of ourselves, with the desire for the next new thing that never quite satisfies that I’m not sure we know what a good life looks like.

That is a huge bundle of tightly wound knots and so how do I begin to untangle it? Well for me it begins with understanding so I can try to imagine a different story. There is a self-reflective component: It will mean thinking critically on my own life and its incessant business and what a good life means for me. There will be a time to listen to other people’s stories and their fears and concerns as well as their hopes and dreams, which is one of the gifts of what I do. As a reflective person, it will also mean that I go back and ask questions both in reading and research but also to question some of the narratives I hear around me.  Honestly not sure where it will ultimately go or look like but I’ve got lots of questions and I’m curious enough to see where they might lead.

Imagining Advent- A poem

Altar Paraments created for Easter Lutheran Church in Eagen Minnesota by Linda Witte Henke

Altar Paraments created for Easter Lutheran Church in Eagen Minnesota by Linda Witte Henke

In a world come of age that no longer dreams
When the spiritual is banished to some distant past
And feelings and dreamings of the romatics are exorcised
In the cold harsh world of facts and data and pundits
Can we imagine the advent of mystery
The coming of the divine into the space of the secular
Will the dreams of the prophets be met by the cynicism of this age
Like in their own day, ignored by those who had surrendered hope
To the foolishness of the past, to the dreams of old men
The prophecy of daughters long gone and the visions of young men

Or might there be in the midst of the foolishness of those dreams
A way out of the rabbit’s hole where we find ourselves trapped in our own wonderlands
Trapped into a world that egocentrically revolves around the walls I build to protect me from thee
What would a world look like where nations no longer train for war
Where spears of separation are beaten into pruning hooks of production
Where swords of every age are reforged into the implements for feeding the nations
Where the shields and walls that divide become the fuel that fires the halls of fellowship
In this crazy kingdom where wolves and lambs lie down, and lions and calves and fatlings
Where children can play with poisonous snakes and we enter into the childish imagination
Of the Lord who is born in the home of the animals, laid in the straw of the ox

Of deserts that become productive and blind that see and deaf that hear,
Where springs of water break forth in the midst of the thirsty ground
And the highway that leads home is no longer a fools dream
No longer just the narrow way that only the wise can discern
To a place where hospitality and healing reign and tears are wiped away
Where children are born to us that might bring the mighty down from their thrones
And uplift the humble of heart and fill the hungry with good things
A crazy dream where the last are first and the first are last
Where the poor, hungry, weeping, hated, cursed and defamed are blessed
Where the ignored child of an unwed mother is Lord
And a crucified slave is the king

These dreams don’t come easy in a world come of age
Where we are all too aware of the ways these dreams were manipulated and mobilized
To prop up the powerful rather than to lift up the lowly
To build walls to divide rather than to create a world where there is no longer
Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female
And yet for all the deconstructionism of the day
The dreams persist, the imagination dares to imagine the heavens opened
The angelic messengers pointing to the sacred in the midst of the profane
That the portals between heaven and earth may indeed be opened
In this unusual advent coming in the smallest and the least
Where a little child might lead them.

Neil White, 2013

The World of Dreams- a poem

Folded Dreams by PORG at Deviantart.com

Folded Dreams by PORG at Deviantart.com

In a world that burns the midnight oil
That blearily blunders through the monotony of the endless day
Do we dare enter the Sabbath of the night
To enter that unruly and unpredictable world of dreams
Dreams that defy the cold mechanistic reality of the day
To close our eyes so our mind might be opened
To the possibilities that dance beyond the edges of perception
Can we drift into the silence of sleep
To that place where the whispers of heaven and the drums of nightmares
Compose the symphony of the imagination
And give birth to the visions of a new reality beyond the breaking dawn

Neil White, 2013