When I find myself in this place of incontrovertible aliveness,when the world is on fire & I am with it—I think: I won’t forget this, I won’t be lost in the pettiness of the day-to-day, my own turmoil, I won’t succumb to sorrow or inertia or fall prey to fear. None of it matters nearly as much as this joy, this knowing the beauty of each thing exactly as it is
Recently I have begun to think, more realistically, I probably will forget this; I will be caught up in stuckness & I will be afraid, I will be numbed by the horror of everything around me & I will feel small & tired & lost
But this time I will try to remember a space beyond it: I will try to remember the boundless hope & consuming joy & know that it’s still there, somewhere; Holding out behind a curtain of small terrors & a fog of futility is a fortress of uncontainable bliss waiting to be unleashed again in my heart & the world
& I go on making small promises to myself in the meanwhile: I will walk everyday in between the trees, I will make some celebration, I will love without fear, I will create beautiful things, I will be unafraid to fly, I will move & speak & live deliberately…My promises stretch out & out sometimes past the horizon of possibility, & often at the end of the day it seems I’ve never walked as far as I thought I could.
I get discouraged & wake up tired in the morning.
But I go on making promises, because the sunrise is so beautiful, & those stars are still shining so brightly, & the birds are beginning to sing—you can hear them even over the whine of the highway. In spite of myself I feel the embers of hope & I think, Well, maybe I could make it just to the end of that road after all.
& I make myself some more promises, I call them dreams, & when night comes I don’t let go of them, I congratulate myself on the ones that walked through the length of the day with me & tuck the rest of them in to carry me through tomorrow
Occasionally I get disgusted with the whole process, I think, Ugh, Dreams & Promises & Possibilities, where have you gotten me? Full of you, but I’m still getting nowhere. Maybe you’re only extra weight after all & reality is about as much as I can hold
I vow to leave them all by the wayside & pretend I don’t notice it’s only another promise I’m making
I try to drag myself through the row of days, not getting distracted, not floating away
But what I notice (after a while of not noticing anything) is that I can’t see anything except dreams, & promises, & possibilities—only they’re not mine, they’re everyone else’s, everyone who never bothered to get burdened by Reality in the first place. Everything I see is made out of somebody’s dream, & if I’m gonna be living in dreams they might as well be my own.
So right then & there I start making promises: I will post myself unapologetically & scour the internet through all hours of the night. I will hate tyrants & argue not concerning God. I will stand up for the stupid & the irrelevant. I will disregard all that insults my own soul. I will be neither cynical nor naive. I will disrespect money, hate working except for myself & for those whom I love, & I will love all who are humane & charitable. I will run with dogs through muddy fields & schoolyard playgrounds & leave footprints like dinosaurs with sharp talons. I will speak out against society’s fuckedness & I will accept what I cannot change but I will not like it. I will love forever & always despite death & impermanence. I will keep making promises
& I will never stop dreaming