This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Only Dream Worth Having...


A very insightful friend of mine sent me these words in an email.  The impact of the author's words struck me with insight and strength.  I googled her and found what my friend had emailed me was an excerpt from a chapter entitled, THE END OF IMAGINATION, from the above book.  I have never heard of this author, but I intend to get her book and read it.

Here are her words in my format:

**"There are other worlds.
Other kinds of dreams.
Dreams in which failure is feasible.
Honorable.
Sometimes even worth striving for.
 Worlds in which recognition
 is not the only barometer of brilliance
or human worth.
There are plenty of warriors
that I know and love,
 people far more valuable than myself,
 who go to war each day,
knowing in advance that they will fail.
True, they're less successful
 in the most vulgar
 sense of the word,
but by no means less fulfilled.

The only dream worth having...
is to dream that you will live
while you're alive
 and die
 only when you're dead.
 To love.
To be loved.
 To never forget your own insignificance.
To never get used to the unspeakable
 violence
 and the vulgar disparity
 of life around you.
To seek joy in the saddest places.
 To pursue beauty to its lair.
 To never simplify what is complicated
 or complicate what is simple.
 To respect strength,
never power.
 Above all, to watch.
 To try and understand.
To never look away.
 And never, never, to forget"

by Arundhati Roy

One could interpret these words in many different directions; living a conscious life, the economy and current times or the fact my Father is demented with Alzheimer's.

When I read the words above, I feel it describes our family's grief, sadness and pain knowing our Father, Mom's husband, is on a one way street and will not return to us the way we have known him all our lives.  Nor will we ever have the relationships we each had with him.  It is different now.  We could run and hide from what is happening, but for me, it would be the coward's path.  Love is not always packaged like it was wrapped at Nordstrom's with a pretty bow.  Real love is always changing, yet always present. It can be good, difficult, ecstatic, challenging, and wonderfully, full filling and familiar...As my 8 year old grand son says, "Love is Love."

Like Kabril Gibran says, "Love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course."  Roy's words, "to live while you are alive, and die when you are dead' are so profound. Reading Dad's journals has brought this subject to mind so vividly.  Another lesson Roy promotes is, "to seek joy in the saddest of places and to pursue beauty to its lair."   I just LOVE that..

I know my Father.  He has tremendous grace and faith in God.  He is kind.  He is gentle.  I believe, some how, in some small way, he remembers the essence of who he is. I can see it in his dignity and the way he lives his life now, in a nursing home. 

At first he was angry and afraid.  I think mainly because he was aware enough to know his memory, abilities and personal freedom were beginning to slip away.  He, like most anyone would, recoiled and panicked.  I can see how procrastination can skip along oblivious, only to suddenly fall into a deep, dark pit.  Falling all the way to the bottom and regretting all the things left undone...unaccomplished...unsaid....
All of it is forgotten. He now lives in the moment. I see him as a Warrior.  I see him as a brave Marine, fighting his best fight, knowing this is his last battle.  Despite the out come, he instinctively knows, it is how we live, how we love and how we fight battles, which determine our legacy.

I will "never look away" and I will "never, never, forget" him.

** Excerpt from the book THE COST OF LIVING by Arundhati Roy, Chapter: The End Of Imagination, Pages 104-105

4 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

A beautiful post, Donna!

Thisisme said...

That is such a beautiful poem. I absolutely love the lines ".. is to dream that you will live while you're alive and die only when you're dead." ..."to seek joy in the saddest places... so many lovely words and meanings in there.
I love it how you now see your dad as a warrior, fighting his last fight.Would you mind if I borrowed some of those words?

The Words Crafter said...

I love this so much, I'm copying it and printing it off for myself.

I read this somewhere before and couldn't remember anything about who'd written it. Some of it is part of my MC's character, especially the 'never look away'....

Thank you for posting this and I pray for strength for your family and health and clarity for your father.

gayle said...

This is so beautiful! It must have been very scary for your dad and all of you in the begining!