Let’s Dream the Night Away!
“Likewise and during every day of an unillustrious life, time carries us. But a moment always comes when we have to carry it. We live on the future: “tomorrow,” “later on…” Camus, Myth of Sisyphus
I would like to let you in on a little secret: I am a dreamer who tends to take my romantic ideas and run away with them—far away. Colourful, promising, beckoning, dreams constitute my reality: I view the world through the lens of my dreams. With aching expectation and sweeping excitement, I embark on the question of ‘what could be’, stepping firmly on the soil of the present with one foot and reaching for the road to the future with the other. There is a tall mountain, its top and edges grazed by the sunlight; it encompasses the capsule of time, the past near its foot, the present overtaking the most of its expanse, approaching its peak, and the future perched at its highest point.
Dreaming is like climbing a mountain, connecting the intervals of time. Starting at the bottom, resisting gravity of the past, you make your way to the top, your future sliding against your present. Suddenly there is a hush in the wind and, in that moment, everything becomes possible. Dreaming is a rewarding art. It can lure you out of deep slumber into the world of thriving life. Releasing doubt, inhaling inspiration, writing your story from the very beginning. Melting past pain, appreciating the joys of the present, embracing the promise of the days ahead.
Sometimes it seems to me that dreaming is a lost art. It only comes to us in the quiet of the night when we tend to shut the world away. Unconsciously, we let our imagination take over, dreaming in vivid colors. After spending hours, immersed in our deepest fears, longings, desires, we wake up and our dreams seem elusive and so out of reach. This is reality and, with reality, comes that melancholic dread and lost sense of wonder. We distinguish between reality and our dreams, consciously making them unreachable, gleaming above the bleak world. To dream seems futile and nearly hopeless, even absurd. Like the Greek hero Sisyphus, punished by the gods to haul a boulder up the hill endlessly, we see dreaming as a quintessentially meaningless endeavor. We are afraid to trust the illusory promise of dreams and our imagined reality.
So we retreat and the day goes on, cloaked in its customary prosaicness. But then…the moon embraces the still sky, and the night casts its starry shadow over the world. Guided by the stars, we enter that alternate magic dimension of dreams, effortlessly floating through the paper-thin fabric of reality. Involuntarily and quite happily, we give in to the wonder and incipient relief. Finally free of our binding expectations and minute details, tainting our everyday interactions, we ascend to the top of the mountain, looking up at sparkling stars. At this decisive and victorious moment, our life starts again; it becomes a new chapter with infinite possibilities. Taking a breath of inspiration, we transcend our troubles and disappointments, viewing them as fleeting fragments of experience, soon to be replaced by our accomplishments and hopes. In its inherent dialectical opposition, life unravels as a web of deep personal meanings.
Albert Camus, the famous French philosopher, writes: “the struggle toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy”. In the face of absurdity, produced by his essentially pointless labor, the Greek hero embraces his existential struggle and his hopeless fate. Starting at the bottom, during that tedious descent, Sisyphus consciously gains solace and joy. His elevated, though unreachable, dreams guide him toward the heights, and the peak of the mountain. He is acutely aware of his descent, but he is simultaneously certain of his imminent ascent. Merging his meaningless reality with his meaningful dreams, Sisyphus triumphs over his fate, and this triumph is evocatively captured by Camus. As a quintessential dreamer, Sisyphus sets a powerful example to us all. His seemingly tragic fate becomes an ode to life itself, juxtaposing complete opposites and affirming the value of dreams in a world of inherent dissonance. There is hope in the absurd, and there is joy in sorrow. Led by Sisyphus’s heroic plight, let’s dream the night (and day) away!