January 1, 2014

A Dream as Prompt

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Screen Shot 2013 12 30 at 1.43.17 PM

I’m at the airport two hours early for my flight, reading a magazine at the gate. I occasionally look up to see the bustle around me, but mostly enjoy the unfettered time. Just moments before my flight is to take off I hear an announcement that they’ve switched the gate. I gather my stuff and run, but I can’t find that number. I must have heard it wrong. I run from gate to gate to gate.

I wake up with a start, never knowing if I’ve made the flight.

Classic anxiety dream. Where was I going anyway? And, paging Carl Jung, why did my subconscious put it in the context of travel?

The truth is I don’t know the answer to that.

What I do know is that I’m paying acute attention to a number of things since that dream about a week ago. Freed up from an intense phase in a book project, so much possibility seems to be dancing before me.

In a recent lecture I attended, a professor from Bard College, Joseph Luzzi, talked about what makes Shakespeare great and put it in a bigger context by asking – What does great literature do? His first answer to that question was that it gives us a “passport to alternate worlds.”

So I guess that means the class I saw in the NYU spring course catalog featuring works by Austen, Dickens, Flaubert and Tolstoy will be stamping that passport a number of times should I decide to take it. I’m in. Consider it done.

When my leisurely indulgence in the Sunday New York Times yielded a special travel magazine, I was stopped by a picture of a colorful suitcase. It was an ad for a travel show in New York that takes place in a few months. I ripped out the page with the headline “Your Journey Begins Here.” Thank you. Yes, at least some part of it will. Consider me enrolled.

At another lecture, as art historian Tina Rivers talked about Michelangelo and showed slides of some of his glorious works – a few of which I’ve seen in person – I had the mad urge to get out my smart phone and book a flight to Rome on the spot. I didn’t do it, but surely it’s only a matter of time. Now it’s like there’s a little bird sitting on my shoulder chirping in my ear – go, go, go. Do it.

Furthermore, I am well into Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and there is a powerful call within me to drive great expanses of this country. I’ve already calculated that there are 22 states I haven’t been to, which means I’m expending energy on that which I want to happen.

This is something I frequently tell my life coaching clients to do. Pay attention. Put your energy into that thing that’s calling you. You will be amazed at what happens.

You’ll wake up and it will all be a dream. Or not.

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