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The Road Goes Ever On
The Road Goes Ever On
Long long ago, in a lifetime far away, I dreampt The Dream.
I was maybe 21. I had just graduated from college, and as was typical of so many of us dope smoking lost sould of that period, I had no plan, no direction, no goals, and thus no future. I was sleeping ... where? Now I can't remember. In my apartment? On a hillside somewhere in the Los Padres National Forest? It was the kind of dream that was so real, so instructive.... let's just say that it has served as a beacon throughout my life.
Over the years my accounting of that dream has taken many forms. The following is the form it took when I attempted to incorporate it into a story I was writing.. Well, I've edited it for space, but that makes this accounting closer to the original dream itself.
I stood upon a wide road, well kept, to judge by the quality of the paving stones. They were smooth, well formed, fitting nicely, their edges close and leaving barely a crack to show this was not one solid piece of rock. No hint of grass or moss showed in those cracks. Yes, well kept. I began to walk. As I walked, a clump of green grass along the roadside caught fire as I passed.
I kept walking, but I looked with fascination at the flame that seemed to explode around me. As I walked, the flame seemed to keep pace, igniting grass, and shrub, and bush and tree ‒ always brilliant orange, but without heat, without sound. Only the brilliant orange.
I paused a moment. I looked back long the road, and saw the flame was still there, still burning, but not consuming. The trees along the road instead glowed an almost holy shade of golden orange.
I continued to walk, and the brilliant flame accompanied. A fire that burned but did not consume! I was wrong, though. There was a heat from this flame, a heat that burned into my spine, into my soul. An exhilarating heat, an exciting heat, the heat of passion, the heat of knowing, of being, of doing what one knew was destined. A revelation, perhaps? In the right place, doing what one was meant to do? I continued, watching the road turn a shade of gold, reflecting the brilliant flame that still leapt from bush to tree, pacing me as I walked.
Soon I came into a town. The flame continued to accompany me, catching fire to the buildings that now lined the street, still burning brightly, still consuming nothing. It shone through open windows, erupting from red brick chimneys, from doorways that seemed to fly open as the fire spread. I wondered at that.
I turned, and looked ahead. I saw the road go ever on, through field and farm and hill, disappearing into far off mountains whose peaks reached to the stars. Tthe road glittered gold, it’s radiance betraying its path.
I ponder this dream now because I am about to embarck upon a life changing, life shattering journey. I seek some sign that the road I am taking is the road laid out in my dream so many years ago. I look for that fire. I look for that Golden Path.
I do not see it.
I know part of this is my fear clouding my vision. I know part of this is my overwhelming desire to stay with the familiar, no matter how painful it has become to do so these last several months. Better the devil you know than the one you don't, the saying goes.
I'm packing my trailer tomorrow. Monday I'll be setting off along a road, one that if it is golden, I cannot tell. Maybe once I'm on my way, that golden light, that road lit by the fires that burn but do not consume will once again reveal itself to me, guide me.
9/9/2006 9:31 pm
i wish i had a funny little quip to say here, but alas i do not. You are far more in tune with Yourself and the thoughts that fill Your mind than me and mine. i am a lost soul, which seems to have no road or path of any color or briliance to follow. i bid You well dear Sir. and hope that this is truly Your golden road of dreams.|