I think I should start with a disclaimer. I do not believe in regret. For every decision made, every choice not taken shaped the core of my being. But I still know dreams unmet.
I was once given advice, from whom I don’t recall. He said set your goals, dreams just beyond your reach. You will always be striving. His theory being, I suppose, that if you catch your dream like the greyhound and the lure, you stop striving, having won your race. But is there a place where dreams end?
I have sought my raison d’être. The sense of purpose I have in this incarnation, questioning “What am I meant to impart on this life? And I’ve learned sometimes your path suddenly Zigs when you were prepared to Zag. And snap things refocus. Cancer is like that.
As a wee one I dreamed of being a country singer. Most days alone in the shower or the car I am just that. This suffices to actualize the idea. But is it a dream fulfilled?
I once bet my grandfather a dollar. Foolishly he accepted, hand shake sealing the pact. I was 8. Of course I knew what flavor ice cream lay in his fridge better than he. I was so proud, smug really at my victory. Now what to do with it? I had a dream and it had a purpose. This would become the start of my Kharman Ghia fund. It still sits labeled in my photo album, my grandfather in his grave and I Kharman-Ghialess. Still I dream of driving the coast along highway 1.
One night we collided inside the boom boom of P eins, lights flashing, music pounding, heat penetrating our cores. Magnetically bound, drawn to and fro, supernovas ready to explode. Later that night we poured into the cab. Our entourage eight piled on, me across his lap. His breathe warm upon my ear. “It’s just one kiss” I thought “It’s all he seeks.” Our friends egging loudly “DO IT” they screamed. My mind spun between taunts. “Was this love or war?” I wondered from the back of our suddenly too crowded car. My refusal was survival. If I dared partake your lunar fire, I’d be lost. I turned my head away instead. And so you remain a verse unloved.
When I was married last, as to be distinguished from the first, he had a motorcycle. I used to climb on back as an exercise of trust, still bearing the scar from a past relationship’s pipe burn. I had to lean into him, put my life in his hands and trust him to navigate the turns. We had to move as one. I always thought this was a good marital exercise. Only I never got to pilot. I always wanted to learn to drive, to take charge of the speed and the direction, set our course. I have yet to pilot my own bike and learn how much my partner is willing to trust in me.
I still dream of Paris though I can’t say it is my dream or some seed implanted in my id as a girl whose mother loved her time as an au pair. Yet deeper I know the root lies in a past life along the Côte d’Azur diving into the ocean bleu- farming sea salt. I still gravitate towards sunflowers and lavender like whiffs of memory so long past they have become part of the fabric of my being. In school I learned the language just to taste it upon my tongue. Yet I have not gone to France.
I am a dreamer, a truth seeker, a hapless romantic, a wandering philosopher, a secret hermit and soul rooter. I walk the line between two worlds past and future, trying to maintain my sanity and balance. In the secret place I don’t dare voice. I dream of life fulfilled, a life where I live by my heart upon the edge of the sea. Where my days are spent languidly creating. Surrounded by loving community- one I’ve envisioned and build again and again in my head. I’d have a soul mate in crime, a partner strong enough to demand the best in me, and I the same of him. I would breathe in reflection and exhale the same.
But I know that life can turn us on our heads. And sometimes on the journey the Zag reveals a dream never imagined. I have met a warrior strong and brave. I have walked in her shoes and I would die happily in her embrace. When I look into the mirror I see god reflected back. Perhaps that is the dream.
Inspired by this week’s Dungeon Prompt, Purpose and the Art of Holding Back
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