A quartet of beautiful male voices sang this song on a late show on TV last night. It was lifted from a Broadway play ‘Les Miserables’ (1998). I was glued to my seat listening to the lovely voices, the song, the music, and the lyrics. These lines particularly stuck to my mind long after the music was gone.
“There are dreams that cannot be and storms we cannot weather”
We have plenty of dreams in life, perhaps even more than we can count with our fingers. We start young with building dreams – ‘I want to be a doctor, fireman, teacher, movie star, model, rich and famous, popular, influential, build my dream house, travel round the globe, start a business, fly to the moon…’ and many more. As the years go by some of those dreams are discarded and replaced with new ones. Some are shelved temporarily. And some pretty soon will be forgotten. But the dreams which hurt us the most are those which can’t be.
Well, this is when we don’t decide its fate. This is when we are up with the stark realities of life and living--- just to name a few - poverty, culture and tradition, incompetence, circumstance, location, feasibility, resources, dearth of opportunities, influence, and competition… and that when we are told that our best effort is not good enough and that pot of gold is given to another guy. Pursuing a big dream takes a lot more than just talent and desire. So much like cooking a pot of stew… one puts in a lot of ingredients to create a good dish, not just a spice or two. Translated into the world of chasing dreams when several essential factors are absent from a situation, that dream might not see the light of day at all. From this one can say that there are some dreams that truly cannot be. That’s just the truth about it.
But then --- There is still something one can do.
That is to draw from the well of the innate adaptability and flexibility of a human being when confronted with the tests of life. Change gear, change idea, change plan, and change the dream. If one dream cannot be, pick out another which can. There’s a lot you can choose from—that is, if you haven’t let go of dreaming.
Life storms can be truly nasty. I know because I’ve been through several of them throughout my whole life. But who hasn’t? It’s one other thing besides death which is the leveler of men. It hits upon the learned, the rich, the beautiful, the healthy, the young, the old, the poor, the ugly, the sick, the good and the bad, etc. etc. And as there are certain storms in life which we can quite handle gritting our teeth or clenching our fist or simply by being stoic about it quite successfully … we can still get those of which nothing that we ever do would make it budge and move away. Nor ride it through.
We are born survivors; it’s a built-in ability since the day we were born, so we’ve been often told. But sometimes it just isn’t so. Sometimes that particular storm hits hard like a mean tornado crashing everything that stands in its way blowing them away to smithereens. That’s what it does to us – blows away our firm resolve, uproots our beliefs in self and life, destroys what we have carefully built in hopes and dreams, and takes us down on our knees defeated and beaten. This is one storm we cannot survive in one piece nor ride taking the bull by its horn. It’s stronger and much fiercer than our tenacity to beat it.
But --- there is something we can do…still.
We can try wait out the storm. That’s different from gritting teeth or clenching fists or being stoic. Neither is it a do-nothing resolve. Rather it is an active calm kind of waiting born out of an understanding that all things have a beginning and an end. You see not all action require a flurry of activity or energy. Sometimes all that one needs to do is sit and wait. This kind of waiting, I know, is calm expectation and anticipation for far better things to come. The mind grinds away making new plans even as the body remains still and steady waiting out the storm. This storm will pass –as the sun rises in the morn and ends with the moon at night -- as a humble seed grows into a tall proud tree… and when rain ends up with a gorgeous rainbow in the sky. New beginnings – that’s what life is made of... what life is all about. Am trying one for myself. Amazingly.
Ciao for now; more in the next –ish!