To the Next Dreamer

Photo credit: Brian Leavy

Photo credit: Brian Leavy

A last letter of counsel to a loved one

My Dearest,
As I write to you now, I wish with all my heart that I could be with you in person. There is so much I would like to say to you. So much left unsaid over the years. So much I will never have the opportunity to say to you. What I have to convey is beyond the power of mere words, anyway. But I will try my best.

You may not know it, but you are on the verge of embarking upon a great adventure, my dear. An adventure that will fundamentally transform you, shake you to your very core, make you soar to new heights. It will be difficult and trying. It will leave you broken and weeping, thinking you cannot push on. But push on you must. There is no other option, no other road to take. This is your path. You can either stall and fail or surge forward and succeed. And if I know anything about you at all, if I have learned anything from witnessing the fire in your eyes blazing with that perfect dualist fusion of ferocity and tenderness, it’s that you are destined for greatness.

Along your unique, twisted, glorious path ahead you will face many changes. You will go places you never thought you would go, see things you never thought you would behold with your own eyes, feel things you never knew your aching little heart could ever contain. You will be blessed beyond your wildest imagination, feel joy beyond what you know you deserve. You will be subject to horrible pain and suffering, so much that it surprises you that you can take that much agony and still continue to breathe. And, throughout it all, you will have to do your best just to keep a few small fragments of your sanity, trying to make sense of the torrent of incredible events as they crash into you at lightning speed. Then, as abruptly as it happened, it will all be over. Your respite will be catatonic, leaving you dazed and confused, staring in the mirror at a strange and unfamiliar person. You will be left to ask yourself, again and again, if it was all just a dream. Because it sure as hell felt like one.

But I’ve got news for you: it’s all real. All the love, hate, peace, strife, happiness, and misery. Every bit of warmth and affection, loneliness and desperation. Every wonderful thing you ever had was real, as was subsequently losing it forevermore. Believe me; I’ve been there before. As hard as it is to grasp, it all really happened. And if fully, completely, emotionally grasping that realization doesn’t leave you feeling lost and empty inside, I don’t know what will.

That’s not what I really wanted to say to you. What you really need to know, what no one will ever admit to you, or to themselves for that matter, is this: it’s all a dream. All of it. This so-called real world we live in is just as ethereal and malleable as our dreams. The sun rises and sets countless times, and with each instance of its crimson glory we slide nearer to the end. Eventually we will all wake up from this strange little illusion we call life. What reality we will wake up to I cannot say, and when I do wake I will not be able to go back into the dream to tell you what to expect. You will have to reach your ultimate destiny on your own.

But life’s transience matters little right now, for now you dream. What really counts is that you know you’re dreaming, and that whatsoever you desire can come into your dream, if you dare to make it real. You can experience fairytale romance, the kind we all read about but never believe can actually happen to us. You can see the whole world, set foot in lands you only heard of in legend, and breathe the foreign air into your own lungs. You can become a world-renowned cellist, bringing to life moments of beauty and feeling you only ever experienced second-hand. You can be a master of martial arts, performing feats that should be impossible for the human body. You can start a revolution, leading a people to dramatic victory over their oppressors. And when you feel the warmth and ecstasy of deepest affection, when you walk the streets of a thousand-year-old city, when a sublime arpeggio flows from your fingers and on the ears of thousands, when you sail through the air and land with catlike grace, when the bullets streak past your face and the explosions reflect brightly on your glistening eyes, you will break through the dream for a moment and experience what is truly real.

As I said earlier, dearest one, you are destined for greatness. Destined to live the dream. Destined to dream the life.

So dream on, my dear. Dream on. And someday, when the dream ends and we awaken to what will be forevermore, I will be there with you.

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.
  • Iris

    Lovely, simply lovely. There is so much in this that I would like to say to my own dear children, before I leave this world.

    • Feel free to take my words. Heck, just handwrite a whole copy of it and sign it. Just give me credit when people try to call you a poet or something, haha.