catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 9, Num 10 :: 2010.05.14 — 2010.05.27


All tensed up with someplace to go

I have dreams about trying to find my lost baby.  I also have dreams about trying to find articles on Google.  I dream about trying to find something to buy in a thrift store with a very limited amount of time.

One of these things is not like the other, but they all produce the same sense of anxiety.  I wake up feeling like I haven’t slept, but rather, spent time in an alternate universe where I can never find what I need, or remember why I need it.

I know where these dreams come from.  They come from spending an hour online searching for the URL home of just the right pair of rubber boots-a hypothetical destination, as I have no money to make them mine, should I ever find them.  My dilated pupils become small breaches in the dam and the dripdripdrip of insatiable longing begins to flood my being, pooling in the poorest neighborhoods first.

But sometimes, when I am fully awake and the levees are holding tightly, I also dream.  I dream about what that scrappy little bit of yard behind our apartment could become with leftover seeds and hand-me-down plants, repurposed ash cans and salvaged brick borders.  I dream about creating a space in my home for paints and prints and play, with a good chair and nice light.

In parsing this out, I begin to see the differences between bad dreams and good dreams: bad dreams hold no possibility of fulfillment, while good dreams project an image of hope toward which I can work.  Bad dreams contribute to my sense of being overloaded by “the system,” while good dreams help undo the damage.  Bad dreams foment my voracity for more, while good dreams train me in the satisfaction of true abundance.

Homegrown herbs and hand printed fabrics are not going to solve all of the world’s problems, which are much bigger than just my personal well-being. These activities are not ends in themselves, as the universe of hipster DIY blogs would have me believe.  But they might just equip the small system of me to tackle the big system of IT.  Test a small piece of material before tackling the big project.  Lament the blight that destroys this year’s tomatoes and then re-plant next year.

As my sleep teaches me, there are worlds within worlds everywhere around us-individuals within communities, glory in the ordinary, eternity in the moment, and this very broken place within the wide mercy of God’s Kingdom.

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