78 bar steady 29.75 1mph N dew-point 51 Summer, cloudy and pleasant
Waxing Gibbous Thunder Moon
Another topic of conversation at the Strickland’s last night was the next time. Lonnie, anticipating their kids flying from the nest, proposes to purchase an empty commercial van, “a hybrid one, they have them now that get 44 mpg. I want to put Bob’s Plumbing on the outside and trick out the inside. No windows, just a perfect place to be. Then hit the road.” Sarah and Paul have work to do on their second home in Maine. Mark and Elizabeth Odegard gave up their house and have the global road, the ancientrail of the nomad, picking up their tent every few months, packing it on the mechanical camel and traveling to a new location. Mary Broderick plans to retire at the end of this year. Kate wants to retire at 66, just two years away.
It all made me sit my head on my hands this morning, after finishing the Sunday paper and wonder.
Mark’s topic for our meeting July 21st is “What is your dream for this life stage?” He says in a followup e-mail:
“My thoughts concerning this topic are centered around articulating my own journey, how I am creating a dream to live into, now that I am in my 60’s and retiring. A few important books are speaking to me about the dream I want. My musical tastes are changing, I am slowing down and savoring longer. Stage of life? Do you have a stated dream? Are you letting it unravel towards you, or are you weaving it?”
So, I wondered, looking out the window at the waving grass in our meadow, what is my (our) dream for this life stage?
I have asked this question at every life stage. Sometimes I’ve had clear answers, at other times not.
During college, for instance, my dream was revolution, a clearing away of the system and a great wakin’ up mornin’ when all would be well-fed, well-educated, well-housed and engaged in governing themselves through worker owned businesses and co-operative enterprises. This dream followed me into seminary where I clothed it for awhile in the Kingdom of God, but it guided my work and my off work activities.
This all began to change, in a subtle way at first, when I had my next dream, being a father. Around 30, 31 I woke up to a pinging in my personal sonar and noticed a faint object closing fast. It was the window for having children and it moved right on top of everything else and hovered until I paid attention to it, then acted on it. Joseph appeared from the heavens at midnight on December 15th, arrival day.
The change that began with the realization of the Joseph dream reached its climax in the late ’80’s when Raeone and I divorced and the ministry began falling away as a work. Kate came into my life a few years thereafter.
That was the next dream. The writing dream. A life lived on the creative edge, where my imagination would carry me. Now, sixteen years later, I’m still living out the implications of that dream. I have written 5 novels and have a sixth well on the way with a seventh not too far behind. I’ve written a lot and I’ve written little, but always, in those sixteen years the creative life has been at the fore.
As I wrote this, I realized that dreams do not come, then fade away. I still want a revolution. I’m still a father. I still write. These are Russian nesting dolls, now buried one within the other.
The question is, is there a dream for this next stage of life? In particular, the stage when Kate had finished full-time work? So, Mark’s right on the money.
I’m not sure. Nothing nags away at me, as it has in the past, as if something unfulfilled, unrealized needs to fight its way to the surface, to my lived experience. Still, I wonder.