By Tammy T. Stone
This is essentially about self-love, self-acceptance and the power of desiring without attachment, but I was feeling a bit effusive about it all, so here we go!
What if I had been born with butterfly wings?
A great Monarch, a dazzling alchemy of orange and black.
Even better, what if I was born as a whole colony of little white butterflies, and I could flutter my wings and soar when the universe and I knew the time was ripe?
What if I could sing like Sia and move every last earthly mountain with one searing note?
What if I could dive into a movie screen and enter a French film where I sit down with young beatniks at one of Paris’ Left Bank Cafes, sipping espresso and talking about profoundly philosophical matters while appearing impossibly charming and sophisticated?
What if I could float up to the highest treetops any time I needed to talk to the sky?
What if I could count seahorses and mermaids as my closest friends, and relay their messages to the world?
What if my carpet and bed were the fallen leaves on a forest floor and each leaf whispered cosmic secrets into my ears at night?
What if I always knew how to express everything that lives in my heart?
But what if way deep down I knew these “What If’s” made no sense? Because it’s not logical.
If only I weren’t so stricken with logic. Because I like dreaming.
If only I didn’t stop to ask myself, “Who is conjuring up all these fantastic, dizzying What Ifs?”
If only I didn’t understood that to live the fantasy means to wipe out me, and without me, there can be no wistful dreams.
Because to get carried away in the dream means there is no one left to do the dreaming.
If only I couldn’t figure out that if I were a butterfly or Sia or an elegant espresso sipper in a French film, I would be erasing myself out of existence, along with all the flights of fancy and the What Ifs.
And then the world would run out of dreams.
If only I didn’t get that in the What If world, the protagonists are always fictional, already-fading stars; as much as we adore them and want to fall into giddy laughter with them over a glass of red, we can never encounter anything but the dress-up, the caked make-up and a person who goes by a different name.
If only we could happily embrace we who dream more than the fantasies themselves, and if only we recognized that everything we can dream up already exists as potential.
If only, when we put our mind in the clouds, we do so to smile with the stars and sun and moon, and thank them for their existence. If only when we come back to our Earthly bodies, we thank them too for all they continue to do for us.
We should ask: what if to dream is an end in itself, one of the very beautiful marks of being human, the very unique beings that we are?
What if we dream without wanting to disappear in the dream?
What if we desire without attachment?
What if we love instead of want
and share our love until all the edges disappear
and there’s nothing left to wish for
because it’s already here and it’s already now?
Editor: Dana Gornall