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“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”
—Barry Lopez
(as Badger, in Crow and Weasel)


To be nobody but yourself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
- e. e. cummings


To Dream

-------Somewhere out there, in a dimension I dare not profess to understand, there is some kind of energy or force which has within it the power to draw a connection between two persons who share the same desire. Sometimes I think I see it revealed in another's eyes, and at other moments I feel its presence somewhere within. And then there are those special, magical moments when it simply reveals itself unannounced. The movement takes place, a lesson is learned, and each party moves on to other distant existences richer for the experience.
-------With each passing day I become more and more at ease talking to persons I do not know. Growing in this area has been a long and arduous adventure, but I feel myself making great strides with each sunrise. Perhaps this growth is due largely to those magical times when something within the collective unconscious tells me to open up to a new soul. These times come when I release my inhibitions and speak openly and comfortably, all the while unaware of why I am able to put aside my anxiety.
-------I recall one instance, long ago, when I was standing in line waiting to purchase refreshments at an outdoor concert. Behind me in line was a woman about ten years my elder. I don't recall what prompted our conversation, but I feel sure that it had to be something out of the ordinary, for at that period in my journey, conversation with a total stranger would not have been openly solicited. But this evening was not to be ordinary. Within a very short time, she was sharing her most avid dream, that of being a poet and novelist. I listened intently and became inspired by her conviction. I was moved to open the doors to a dungeon cloaked in the darkness of my insecurity and began to share with her dreams I'd yet to live. I had never before found the strength and acceptance necessary to truly feel worthy of my dreams, yet now I found myself embracing them within the context of a conversation with a total stranger. I only recall one thing said in that conversation many years ago. I've never forgotten the advice, and I'll never forget the instant in which she shared this philosophy. The woman told me -- in fact ordered me -- "never allow anyone to take away your dreams!"

© 2004