I have never forgotten two poems by Langston Hughes that I first encountered in a high school segment in my English class about the Harlem Renaissance movement in literature. Both these poems are about the importance of having and realizing your Dreams.  Whether you relate these poems to your personal LIFE DREAM or to a more political notion such as in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream!” speech, the value of holding to your dreams and to your collective Dream is the same.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore, and then run?

Maybe it just stinks, like rotten meat…

Or crusts and sugars over, like a syrupy sweet.

Maybe it just sags, like a heavy load…

Or does it explode?


The importance of having a Dream, of being a Dreamer, is fundamental in all approaches to self-development and to spiritual practices, isn’t it? Our imagination, the ability to creatively envision a ‘better ending’ to any situation you are in or that we face in society, is our greatest strength. To dream is to transcend, to free yourself from undue self-limitations, to soar.


So here’s the second reminder from Langston Hughes  (http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/dreams-2/) :

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.


images from pixabay.com



Beach in the evening

These next four weeks will complete the present six month cycle here at Better Endings for Life Paths, after which we will embark on a whole new, exciting yearly cycle.  As a culmination of the process represented by the sequence of topics we have been exploring, we will finish the next four weeks with a flourish to help you contemplate a major Goal: Your Life Dream, Your Plan of Action, Your Dream Totem, and Live Your Dream, Now!  

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,

Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

– Langston Hughes

For this week, I want to help you to deeply ‘excavate’ or to (re-) claim a Life Dream.  What is your understanding of your Purpose for being in this life? What is your unique personal Mission and how might that you realize that as your Life Dream?  Earlier I asked you to consider: “What do I want to be when I Grow Up?” Envisioning your answer to this is a way of picturing your Life Dream. How did you answer that question when you were a child?  What was essential about what you wanted to ‘grow up to be’ then that still applies to where you’d like to be in, say, five years from now or when you have fully manifested your Dream?

Hold fast to dreams, for when dreams go,

Life is a barren field, frozen with snow.

— by Langston Hughes

This week I invite you to ‘excavate’ your dream from childhood and then to elaborate on where It stands for you Now.

Cave on the Hiking Trail Eifelsteig

When I was in high school for awhile I wanted to become a physical education teacher, because I became fascinated with gymnastics through an obstacle course program in high school, around 9th grade. I couldn’t get enough of that obstacle course; it was challenging and exciting to every fiber of my being. I wanted to achieve a level of perfection at every task, from parallel and uneven bars to the pommel horse. That particular dream developed later into my activity in college as a member of an intercollegiate fencing team.

Even younger, I wanted to be a musician (a violinist) or, a little later and ever since then, a writer. I wrote a novella when I was 12 which I called The Fate of Kuwait. It had some oddly prophetic parallels to events of the first Gulf War. Then when I was 18, my best friend Barbara and I snuck out to ‘run away’ to New York City, for her to be an artist and for myself to become a poet and a fiction author. It was time, we both felt, to leave our childhoods and to begin our awaiting artistic careers. We had met some young men from New Jersey in Niagara Falls earlier that day who said they would drive us to The City. My dream was of writing creative works in smoky coffee houses in NYC; a bohemian artist’s way of life.

Barb and I snuck out from her house and actually we could have made it to Niagara Falls, but at 6AM after Barb and I had successfully scaled an escarpment cliff en route to our bohemian futures, I realized my Grandmother was visiting; she would be so upset if I ran away while she was there! We slid back down the escarpment on our seats (it was February near Buffalo, NY) and made it back to Barb’s by 6:45; 30 minutes before her mother called us to breakfast. Oddly enough, two summers later while I was ushering at a performing arts center in Lewiston, NY, a famous symphony conductor and his wife invited me to come be a nanny for their children in New York City; I would just have to quit college and leave the next day! I let that dream go by, but I have nurtured the deeper dream by gradually developing my writing; publishing continues as my life’s Dream which I have already had some success with and am yet en route to fulfilling.


So, what did you dream of becoming or of growing up to Do or to Be in your childhood? How does that relate to your current Life Dream? What are you doing now or what can you begin to do that will allow yourself to arrive at this destination of your Heart and Soul?

Nurture your Dream this week. Write about it, dream about it, talk about it inwardly and outwardly. Draw it; imagine your DREAM coming forth into fruition.

I invite your insights and stories!