Saturday, May 14, 2011

On Dreams, Boldness, and Patience (and also locking down and walking away)

Dreams are amazing things.

I don't mean what happens when we are sleeping, I mean the dreams that possess us and drive our lives. The dreams that give us extraordinary destinies and make our lives magical. The dreams that come on us when we least expect them, and are often far from what we thought it was that we wanted to do with our lives.

Sometimes, a dream seems impossible. But when you share the dream with someone else, it's a combined force of energy and desire that can make anything possible. It creates a sense of working together towards a common goal. Pursuit of the dream bonds you at heart and spirit. You are fiercly loyal, standing back to back to face the world together in a way that few people understand. And the universe opens up, giving you signs and signals that your dream is the right one, and that yes, it can come to be.

But what happens when the one you needed to complete the dream suddenly freezes up, locks down, then disappears? And nothing you do or say seems to convince them that the dream is, at heart, still worth it? And you begin to feel frozen and locked as well, because no new dream you can think of comes close to what that one was?

There is only one thing you can do: Wait. Even though in the end, waiting is so much harder than forgetting, you know that patience is the mother of all wisdom. You know something will come from this, it has to, because everything in life has a purpose, even this extreme test of your own love, loyalty, and patience.

I'm reminded of a beautiful poem by my friend, distinguished poet Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D.

Cave Lesson

You ask me to join you in your cave, and I do.

I sit down on the damp floor and we watch the dark walls
dripping with yellow light from the candle.

You are like that light,
I tell you.

See how you affect everything around you.

You do not believe me.

It takes time.

I breathe out. I let go of my impatience,
even though I know candles do eventually burn out.

I must let you take your time.

I'm also reminded of another one of Cassie's poems, from her recent book of poetry entitled This is how honey runs.


Athena was not always bold.
We want to think that she was.
We want to remember the owl,
the victories, the wisdom.
Nothing comes like this.
The owl was an egg first.
That sound you're hearing.
The one your heart is making.
That is your egg cracking.

There is a lesson always, even when you are left standing alone, holding in your hands the broken pieces of a dream that you can not accomplish on your own. Patience reveals the lesson. Patience tests our ability to love, to be loyal, and to be bold enough to continue believing in something that suddenly seems as unattainable as a feather drifting on the wind.

Waiting is hard, yes. Forgetting is easier, always. Anyone can give up. Regardless of the defense one might mount to the contrary, it takes no strength of spirit, no sense of courage, loyalty or boldness to just give in to fear and take the easy way out. It takes nothing, absolutely nothing, to simply walk away.

But even when our hearts are cracking, we must remember that patience is the mother of all wisdom, and no one was ever bold without first being wise. And the wise know that in the end, it is only boldness that determines what dreams are possible.

Art: During The Time That He Was Away, by Amy L. Alley. To view more of my art, visit


For more information on Cassie Premo Steele, or to order a copy of This is how honey runs, visit Cassie will be reading poetry at the SC Book Festival in Columbia Sunday, May 15th, at the Garden Terrace Pavilion from 12:45-1:00 and copies of This is how honey runs will be available for sale and signing.

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