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“The nearest Dream”

April 10, 2022

The nearest Dream recedes — unrealized —
The Heaven we chase,
Like the June Bee — before the School Boy,
Invites the Race —
Stoops — to an easy Clover —
Dips — evades — teases — deploys —
Then — to the Royal Clouds
Lifts his light Pinnace —
Heedless of the Boy —
Staring — bewildered — at the mocking sky —
Homesick for steadfast Honey —
Ah, the Bee flies not
That brews that rare variety!

Emily Dickinson

Dreams should be our best hopes, but most, for me, they are my worst fears.

Awaking this AM, I was trying to get to La Guardia Airport, and my mother texted me on this IPad (although 20 years dead) asking where I was. I was walking the two blocks to the airport from midtown Manhattan, thru a stiff hedge, as it was on the Hudson River. And there was 15 minutes until my plane took off. And my father (35 years dead) was asking where I was…

Then I awoke to this poem.

2,000 years ago Jesus was living the dream. He was coming into the biggest city around. Many fully lauded him, and knew, just knew, that he was saving them from oppression. It was a full acclamation after three years living on the grace of strangers. It was the honey this bee sought.

But soon, a few days, Jesus was arrested, because he was seen as the honey that worker bees cannot have, and oppressors of all kinds just wanted this flight of fancy to stop. Jesus would not stop being Jesus, so he was stopped. Dead.

No honey, no freedom, no justice – and as it turned out, no peace.

Our dreams are just that. Not real, often immediate to waking, but still quite distant. We know what we know and want more. But that is not up to us. The wanting is, the effort, the flight we fly to get want we hope. But hope is not faith. Lent is not hope, either.

Hope in the unknown is fully a dream. Faith is what we have because we have been given it, unearned, undeserved, even despised. In the end Faith is all we were given. And, for me, and the devil, it is sufficient unto the day. Fear does not end with faith. The failures that promise fear just keep on coming.

But faith looks beyond that.

This day is the day we have been given, and given 2,000 years ago, and we receive it in fully false hope, mostly absent faith. Faith comes when we know that we are not alone in our dreams, that those dreams come from beyond the memory of my mother, or La Guardia airport. But that is a hard flight.

Substantiation is just manufacture, hope is just a dream. Faith is the foundation of this moment, sitting on the edge of spring. In Lent.

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