I had a dream about the farm last night. I had a dream that I was standing in a gazebo with white posts on a birch wood flooring, elevated, and slightly high enough so that I could overlook the grounds and see my surroundings.
I was overlooking the fields and the barn and the houses on the hill, which is where I stay and where the kids stay and more accurately, this is where anyone could stay, should they need a place to stay.
There is a kitchen big enough for all with a dining room that is serviced by us and fed by us from a meal that was created by us.
There is a place for you here. I’m sure of it.
This is a safe haven. This is a place where all can heal, we can be, we can overcome and learn to live, love, and laugh without fear, worry, guilt, or shame.
I am surrounded by mountains in my dream. I see the surrounding landscape as our protector, which provides a boundary between us and a less than caring world.
The grass is green. The fields are peaceful. There is a big willow nearby and close to the small pond. I view the tree and the pond as a symbol of love and hopefulness.
In my dream, the sky was in the midst of a change, orange at sunset, and quiet—pastoral like a scene from a movie which I hold close to my heart. It was beautiful, and the wind was good, which although I couldn’t feel it, I know the wind was moving enough to blow my hair away from my face.
I could hear the kids playing in the fields upon the hill.
And I say Bless them.
God bless them all. Bless every single one of them. Bless their lives and bless their hearts.
Bless the odds they need to overcome and bless them their battles; bless them and their truths, bless their scars, which we try to fade until eventually, their scars become unnoticed and all we see are their smiles.
Bless their abuse. Bless their pasts. Bless their need for love and attention. Bless them and their pain, which will heal, so long as we choose to heal together,
Bless them the young addicts. Bless the depressed. Bless the teenage angst which was more accurately just a reflection of confused emotion, outrage, and frustration. But I digress.
In my dream, I looked across to see the barn—not sure why I was fixated here, but I saw two white geese, which were not unlike the two white geese on the farm I lived on back in the day.
Only, those geese were mean. In my dream, the geese were white as ever, purified, and tame with long white wings with a halo of bright light surrounding them.
I have built and rebuilt this place a thousand times. I see my old friends visit me here. I see the people I always wished I could invite here, but now they’re gone, and wherever they are, I suppose this dream is the only communication we’ll have (for now.)
I picture Mom and The Old Man here, sitting on a porch with tall glass of lemonade—or maybe it was iced tea, or peach iced tea, and they came to see what their son built and play with the kids so they know where my love comes from.
The other day, I mentioned that I was going through my journals. I do this from time to time, but I struggle to read them.
I struggle because like any artist, I am my own worst critic. Plus, I cringe when I see mistakes—but hey, my mistakes make me real.
I once wrote “This is where I come to leave pieces of myself,” and placed these words on the front page of my journal.
This is where I bleed. In my journals, I mean.
I feel here. I live here. I learn, and unlearn, and then I relearn on a daily basis.
I also defy the odds here because I have not, will not, and did not quit. I defy the internal dialogue and defy the irrational mind, which cries out like a child too frightened to let go of his security blanket.
Regardless to doubt or insecurity; I thrive here (with you) and I mature here. I gain perspective and perfect my voice, which is raw, real, and undressed —so help me, God.
One of the first thoughts I ever penned in my journal was something that regarded the definitions I was taught about humility and modesty.
Humility is simply being honest and modesty is just the absence of pride —well, if I am to be the writer and the person I want to be, then let me be like this , humble and modest because to me, all else is bullshit.
I wrote something last year, which I would like to share with you now.
Everyone dares to be something. We all need to find our identity as well as our purpose.
In order to be me, I need to understand what it means to have a presence of self. I need to understand the value of my identity.
I have been working on perfecting me and perfecting my craft for quite some time now. Along the way, I have taken some hard shots and learned some painfully hard lessons. But above all; I have never quit or stopped. And I never will.
This is what I wrote last year:
Maybe it’s me.
It could be . . .
Maybe it’s the things I’ve seen or the people I’ve met. Maybe it’s the stories I’ve heard or the absolute, painful truth that even behind the best of intentions and even with all the love and support in the world, people will still let themselves down.
Maybe it’s me.
Maybe it’s the Mom who cried because she’ll never see her child again. Or it could be the father who told me, “At least I know my boy is safe now,” as he wiped the tears away from his face and said farewell to sheet-covered boy after a heroin overdose.
Maybe it’s a jailhouse visit to an old friend whom I will never see again. Maybe this is for my friends that I love but unfortunately have to love from a distance.
Maybe it’s the way I feel when I see these things—or maybe it’s the reminder of my own feelings and my own fears.
Maybe it’s the wreckage of my own mistakes. Maybe it’s the remnants of my past and this is just a reflection of an old me that I have yet to shake from my existence.
Maybe this is why I feel the way I feel because I remember when I wanted to quit or, “Hang up,” as it’s called. I felt hopeless, or helpless, and all I wanted to do is shut the world off like a light switch. “Click,” and I would be done.
Maybe it’s the way I see myself and the need to see me in a better light. Maybe it’s the internal struggle that triggers emotion, which I use when I stand in front of an audience and take the stage to do my presentations.
Maybe it’s the regret I feel. Maybe it is the need I have to return the valuable favor that was given to me a long time ago.
Maybe it’s the people who helped me when I didn’t deserve it.
Maybe I am driven by them.
Maybe I am driven by the relationships I never had—and because I never had them, I feel the need to redeem what I can and “Pay what I owe,” so to speak because I would rather pay now than pay later and be hit with interest.
As I see it, everyone owes. We all have a debt to pay. We have a debt to ourselves. We have a debt to our society and a civic responsibility.
Maybe this is what motivates me.
Or, maybe I just want to be helpful.
Maybe this is where I belong because this is where my passion is. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I just want to live in a better place and see better things.
Maybe I am the way I am because I finally understand that life is too short. There are no guarantees. Tomorrow could come along and if I’m not paying attention, I could miss it. I know this is true because I have watched people miss out on an entire lifetime, only to realize this upon their deathbed. But of course, then it’s too late.
Maybe I am the way I am because I’d rather be inspired than look around with envy and wish I had what other people have.
Or, maybe I woke up one day and said to myself, “This is it. This is what you’re supposed to do.”
Maybe I am inspired by a quote from Bobby Moresco who said:
“You can always do what you love to do. It doesn’t mean anyone is gonna pay to do it. But nobody can stop you.”
Maybe this is why I keep up with the journals I’ve been telling you about. Maybe this is why I keep pushing (typos and all) and I take what I can and push forward, no stopping, no matter what, until death do I part.
Maybe it’s a girl I know who beat cancer or a boy I know that faced something called Neuroblastoma. Both of them defied the odds. And I look at them; I look at their young world and think how in all my years, I’ve never dared to embrace life the way these two have.
But I want to.
I want to live. I want to feel the sun on my face. I want to be fine wherever I stand, comfortable in my skin, healed, whole, and heartily satisfied with the life I lived, on a daily basis, one day at a time.
Maybe this is me.
It could be . . .
Maybe I just want to feel love. Maybe I just want to believe in a greater good and this is the only way I can make sense of my thinking —by believing in God or as others might call, “A power greater than myself.”.
Maybe this is the action I use to replace my thoughts, to keep me from my own self, my burdens, and my own internal bondage, which is otherwise known as depression.
Maybe this is how I beat the odds. Maybe this is how I’ve kept sober for so long.
Maybe this is how I give myself value. I do this by doing valuable things, and in the long run, deep down, I know this will all pay off.
It has to pay off . . .
For nearly three decades, I’ve been reciting a prayer that asks God to “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Maybe this is the only way I know how to change the things I can, which is how I learned the wisdom to know the difference.
And that’s exactly what I want to do —
Make a difference . . .
I tell you I have this thing.
And I can’t call it anything other than that.
This is my thing.
This is my trick and I’ve spent the last few decades trying to perfect it.
One day, I plan to pull off my trick and build this place I’ve been dreaming about. I call this place The Second Family, This is The Farm, or should I say “The New Farm,” which is this place in my heart and one day, I will build it.
I hope you’ll be there to see it.