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From Jacksonville Beach, FL

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What does happen to a dream deferred ?

Big Wheels rolling through fields
Where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams
("Land of Hope and Dreams," Bruce Springsteen)

     Langston Hughes who asked the question about dreams in his poem "Dream Deferred" (also called "Harlem") answered with a series of questions: 
                                                                  Does it dry up 
                                                           like a raisin in the sun?
                                                            Or fester like a sore--
                                                                  And then run?
                                                        Does it stink like rotten meat?
                                                            Or crust and sugar over--
                                                                  like a syrupy sweet?

                                                                  Maybe it just sags
                                                                   like a heavy load.

                                                                  Or does it explode?

     What does happen to our put off, never explored dreams?   We all have them, desires never met.  Some of them we do allow to dry up. Many we regret that they were never fulfilled and some are simply out of our control.  Those we allow to dry up may be our  most unrealistic dreams.  When we allow a dream to get away, we have to be open to other avenues. If you wanted to be a player in Broadway musicals and you did little about it, you may find other outlets--community theater, directing high school productions, or viewing a lot of plays and movies, but that original desire is still there buried deep.  It does emerge from time to time causing you to cry or get teary watching the Tony awards.

      Some of our dreams can be an inspiration to others who can fulfill them for us.  Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" is a good example.  Like him, sometimes we can start the dream, but circumstances require others to finish it.  

    We can't live without dreams.  They give us hope that life can and will be different.  As Langston Hughes wrote in another poem, " Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly."

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