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A Dream...

By January 20, 2013

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booksI hope we all have a dream. For some, it might be a simple one: a place of one's own, a farm--with rabbits (like the one Lenny and George had in Of Mice and Men). Perhaps, it's more of an Edenic tale, that brings us back to the place we were born--restores us to the place of our ancestry, a seeming paradise. Or, maybe we have faith that humankind will someday be kinder, gentler or more open to the color of one's skin (Martin Luther King Jr).

Some literary works depict the degradation of the American Dream, the loss of innocence (like The Great Gatsby). It makes us wonder if a dream is even possible.

I have to believe that some dreams--however impossible--are still worth dreaming. I dream that some day, a child will ask, "What's cancer?" And, my son (who spent those early years fighting it) will be able to say, "It was terrible... but it's gone for good!"

I wish and dream that we could all look beyond the color of skin, and see instead something of heart and character--all that lies beneath the scars on the surface. I dream that some of the greatest haters of literature will become the greatest lovers, preaching the gospel of literacy and bibliomania.

We talk about libraries closing and the inaccessibility of books, but I dream of a day when books can be found in every home, where every parent reads to their children at bedtime, and children fall asleep, dreaming that all the passages from literature have come alive. It sounds like a pipedream--imagine that a Pied Piper could lead us to such a place...

Perhaps the most tragic part of all those dreams is that--in thinking that those dreams are impossible--we don't take any steps toward the parts of those dreams that are possible. We can support a library. We can volunteer for a literacy program. We can read to our children. We can make a dent, however small. And, we can look past the hatred and pain that we see in the eyes of others--to see something of who they are.

If our experience with literature teaches us anything, I hope that we can remember: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin." We can't judge a book by its cover; nor can you judge a person by the capacity they have for reading books (and/or enjoying them)--perhaps they've just never experienced the "right" life-altering book...

Comments

January 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm
(1) Alexandra says:

Sending up prayers for your son. May the angels of mercy dry his tears and give him peace.

Thanks for your blog…I’ve been enjoying it. :)

January 19, 2011 at 8:03 am
(2) MAXINE says:

I wish that parents everywhere would realize the importance of the written word. If your child can read, then he/she will be capable of doing anything they choose. They have a greater opportunity in life, a clearer understaning of how to sort out problems, understanding simple maths, and so many other valuable parts of life. We do our children a injustice by not encouraging them to read from very young.
It encourages imagination, speech and so many other aspects of their growth. I wish you lots of strength and vitality and your son the peace to be strong.

January 19, 2011 at 9:46 am
(3) Ernest Dempsey says:

Hi Esther, I am here after a long time. I truly hope that your son comes out of cancer safe and sound.

I am now editing the journal Recovering the Self (http://www.recoveringself.com/) and we get stories about healing and recovering from all over US and the world beyond. Life is always a struggle and our greatest achievement seems to be to keep it up.

Hope the literature section at about contrinues to flourish. It’s a treasure.

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