Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 13: Words and Pictures 

I had a training course in central London today. Not being sure of finding anywhere to park my motorbike, let alone somewhere secure, I opted to go on the train. This has two benefits – one, I get some thinking and writing time, and two, I can take my camera with me. If you want to find the link relating the words and pictures in this post, that is it; there is no other.

Like most people, I must dream every night, but it’s very rare for me to remember even the fact that I’ve dreamed at all, let alone any details. Last night though, I dreamed of someone I haven’t met in years, and almost certainly wont meet again. Now, there’s a line in ‘We Will Rock You’ (after playing for a total of nearly 30 performances including rehearsals, the band could quote just about the entire script) where Scaramouche says to Galileo “Believe me Gazza, there’s nothing – and I mean nothing – more boring than when someone tells you their dream”. So I’ll spare you the details, and just mention the general theme. This person I dreamed of was my boss for a while – the best boss I ever had in fact, and a real inspiration to me in so many ways. She had intelligence, drive, penetrating clarity of thought, yet also compassion, humanity, integrity, warmth, humour… sounds perfect, doesn’t she?

I only worked for her for 6 months or so, about ten years ago, but we kept in touch for several years after that, meeting up once in a while for chats that would last for hours, covering every subject under the sun, both of us oblivious to the passing of time (like the occasion meeting after work one day in central London, when I nearly missed the last train home at around midnight). But the link between us was built largely on a working relationship whose pivotal point lay in the past; as time went on and we went our separate ways, that common point became further and further away and so those occasional reunions ceased.

It was only about six years ago that I last saw her, but it seems a lifetime away; it feels as though I was different person then. Enthusiastic, inspired, with great hopes for the future; just beginning to believe in myself, to believe in possibility, in hope, and in Making Things Happen. Much of that came from her; she bridged the gap between impossibly idealistic fantasy-hopes and the hard reality of bringing a wish into concrete existence.

I wondered why, after all these years, she should surface again in my dreams (and before you ask, no it wasn’t that kind of dream. Shame on you!) True, those times stay in my mind, as a benchmark of possibility, of What Could Be, but like I said, those times are also history, more and more remote, and seemingly irrelevant to my life nowadays.

But there is a connection, which may be what triggered the old memory. Last night, I was working late on some reports – progress of technical projects. It’s rare for me to stay at work late, but there were deadlines I had to meet. And that is very similar to what I was doing ten years ago – working to tight deadlines on corporate performance reports.

The dream was like a tunnel in time through which I saw up close the person I felt I was ten years ago; saw once more the possibility of inspiration, of confidence, of self-assurance; and the slate of future possibility blank, awaiting my writing upon it. All of those things have been sadly lacking in me lately – I’ve fallen into bad habits of compliance, obedience, aloofness; no challenging, no questioning, little true engagement. But for a moment, in the dream, I reconnected with that earlier energised self.

Thanks, Sue.

The photos incidentally were all shot within a few minutes walk of Oxford Circus; London has such delightful hidden corners.

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