Monday, July 17, 2006

Raisin in the sun

"You're a former gator?" the deputy asked me with a big grin at the courthouse. He seemed to stand a little taller. "I was offered a chance to play for them. Lineback." Shakes his head and sighs with a smile, "I was young. You know how youth is, lots of decisions you make, most of them bad. Sometimes I stop to think what my life could have been..." He pauses, a wistful look on his face. He's not talking to me anymore.

There is a strange comfort in dreaming of what could have been. Knowing the depths of potential buried within and seeing in your minds eye what should have, could have, been yours. The fortune you were meant to have. The book titles bearing your name. You can taste it as real as snowflakes upon your tongue.

Most dreams live in the recesses of ones mind. Perched atop a pedestal, polished, shiny, untouched. One dares not remove it from its esteemed place upon the mantle for to pursue it we must hold it in our hands and lay it upon the streets of New York amid strangers trampling feet. In that is the utter irony of a dream. To realize it one must burn profusely. But in doing so one may burn the dream itself. And a dream sullied with indelible marks cannot comfort us in the dark nights when we lay our heads to sleep.

What happens to a dream deferred?

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?

---Langston Hughes---

12 comments:

mystic-soul said...

I think by early to mid teen, we all get true heart in doing something and most of the time elders/teachers/parents take away that calling by pressuring logical explanations. Ever heard: "I was Intelligent. Education ruined me".

Ever watched "Dead Poets Society" or "rounder".

You have touched the most inner painful part of any soul..."...Sometimes I stop to think what my life could have been..."

Anonymous said...

I like! I like!

Shabina said...

i *love* that poem, it's one of my all-time favs!

i agree, it takes a lot of courage to pursue dreams. i suppose it's a question of risk-loving versus risk-aversion. some people would rather live with "what-if" than know the truth...

Baji said...

I have never actually read this poem, thank you for posting.

momyblogR said...

Wow. What a post. I've never considered that question, so after reading the post this morning, I spent the day thinking, "What dreams have I had that may have passed me by?"

Honestly at this point in my life...none. I'm currently living as I have always dreamed as a girl. Wife, mother, homemaker....completely wrapped up in my family. However, now that I'm in that part of my life, I've found new passions and desires. One of them being photography. If I had to name a BIG dream it would have to be being a success behind the camera. To have my prints hanging in homes everywhere, lol.

AND I have no intention of leaving it on the mantle. I'd much rather have had it trampled in the streets on New York, than never have persued a passion or followed a dream.

Hm, that was a lot of info.....sorry!

Maryam said...

Love Langston Hughes! Each poem of his is simply amazing.

Thanks for sharing this :)

Maryam

Tee said...

That is one of my favorite poems. I had to memorize it for 7th grade English. I have always remembered it - like it became a part of who I am.

Thanks for writing this entry about something that is difficult to wrap words around.

"...a dream sullied with indelible marks cannot comfort... "

Absolutly. Almost better to have the perfect dream than to have it tarnished in some way - to bring it into reality - which, almost always, is not as good.

I feel this way about many things. About career choices, paintings I haven't painted, poems/books I haven't written... Will I take them off the bookshelf someday? I think it takes a bit of courage and commitment. Sometimes one isn't ready. The question is will we run out of time before we're ready?

Aisha said...

Mystic yes we are certainly more idealistic when younger. I guess life gets in the way :)... I'm at a quarter life crisis I feel where I'm wondering of the regrets I may have later if I dont act now. Yet the fear to actualize what I cherish most is a scary leap to take.

Anon- thanks!

Shabina, the truth can be a bitter pill to swallow.... part of me wonders if I want to face it if its not the truth I Want to hear.

Baji that is an alltime favorite of mine. I'm glad I could share it with you :)

Mommyblogr, glad you have no regrets :) I hope you go forth with the photography and share them with the world. You really have a talent.Do you develop them yourself?

Maryum, welcome !! :) Thanks, I too love Lanston Hughes, he's great at making you feel a lot with very few words.

Tee- I'm glad that you knew the poem. I ALSO had to memorize this poem but in 5th grade. Jeeeee I wonder why I'm not surprised we both had to memorize the same exact poem at some point in our lives! :) lol. Yes I am with you. I am afraid of the courage and the committment... it takes hard work to pursue such goals, but so many things push in diff directions. I know I com ehome and I am exhausted. I want to spend time with my family and friends, etcf. Where to fit the time. But you know, great people who have left their mark had the same amount of time in their day and many balanced families and personal lives outside of their passions. If they can do it, I should be able to also. My biggest fear like I said above is to to look back at age 75 or so and saying DAMN I could have done this or that Why didnt I? I feel I am (we are) at the time in our lives that its "now or never" if we want to work towards our goals outside of perseonal lives like writing/panting/education etc. This is the ideal time. I guess now is always the best time. So for me I did go to lawschool b/c I didnt want to regret not doing that since it was a dream of mine since childhood... but the writing thing is the underlying true passion. I talk about it way more than I actually do it. I'm planning to take a breath and dive in and JUST DO IT. But its scary :) This post was a reflection on that.

Tee said...

Aisha - I have faith in you. You will accomplish your dreams.

estarz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
estarz said...

uHey there. Been a very long time...just been enjoying summer. Ramping up on photography after a very long break!

Happy belated Anniversary.

Keep Rocking!

Anonymous said...

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