“The thing about trains…”

“…it doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on” the Polar Express conductor announces as the young boy steps off the great iron horse and the wonderment of a visit to the North Pole. A story so brilliantly simple yet so rich in meaning.

When our imagination can transport us to worlds where a train parks itself at our front door, hot chocolate is served up in full dance ensemble and an entire civilization of toymakers resides just across the icy plains of Glacier Gulch we’re reminded that dreams are simply the vehicle that carries us along our deepest desires, unspoken fears and life lessons.

Just last night my dreams betrayed me, debilitated me, paralyzed my movement. When I woke, remnants of the nightmare kept me weighted to the bed as I attempted to remember the details quickly slipping away. Although most of my nightly dreams fade away once my eyes open, the feelings remain for days. In this dream, I only remember traveling with a group of gifted artists and dear friends. As the caravan of creatives walked from one inspired vista to the next, painting, writing and singing of nature’s profound beauty, I would find myself struggling to stay on my feet. Each time I mustered the strength to push myself up, to walk a few steps, my knees would buckle as if muscle and bone simply could no longer support any weight – a weight invisible to all those around me. These dear friends would turn back to me, concerned, wanting to offer a hand, but I remained steadfast in my efforts and simply promised to catch up.

As I look back on this dream and other events of the day, including a brief visit to the North Pole along the Polar Express, I’m reminded of Iyanla Vanzant’s message to trust our vulnerabilities. When all defenses are down, and the body struggles to defend itself or it falls behind, we are actually “standing in the power of our authentic self.” Our strength emerges through will not muscle. Our authentic self places will and courage in the line of fire knowing our survival is never at question – that no matter where the train, or the journey takes us, even to places of fear, if we trust our authentic self our unwavering courage will keep our resiliency of spirit strong.

Today, I feel the tracks rumbling beneath my fallen knees and a light coming from the horizon. I’m not afraid. I trust this train will stop just for me, and wait long enough so I may lift myself upon its steps and just get on.

This dream reminded me of a poem I wrote a few months back which seems hauntingly appropriate…

This Weight of Excess

Too much clutter unkept
Too many chores unfinished
Too many toys unused
Too much time unfiltered
Too many books unread
Too many miles unpaved
Too many candles unlit
Too many bones unearthed
Too many stories untold
Too many pages unwritten
Too many songs unsung
Too many meals uneaten
Too many days unfocused
Too many words unspoken
Too much shit unsorted
Too many promises unbroken
Too many months unhappy
Too many memories unframed
Too much wine unopened
Too many years unloved
This weight of excess pulls at my wings, unmercifully.