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Thursday, October 30, 2014

People often ask me...

what my dreams are for the future. I suppose dreams are different than plans to some extent. For example, now that I’m finished with school, I plan on trying to find some customer service work that I can do from home on the computer and phone. And yes, certainly I should love to have more opportunities to explore my abilities in the arts, and publish my books. But I’m sure that’s a way in the future. As it stands, I really can’t plan too far into the future, but must take one step at a time. However, that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. So I shall let you in on two of my main dreams now.

    The first does have to do with finding a “soul mate”. And that doesn’t mean a White Knight for me; it could just as easily be a college nerd who desperately needs someone to look after him! As someone who has had no brothers, I honestly think that whoever I agreed to spend the rest of my life with in holy matrimony could not just be a flirt or romancer (I get turned off to such methods rapidly), but also must be a bit like the brother I never had. It would have to be someone I completely trusted, with my whole self, and who I would naturally want to spend quality time with.

    So my idea of a truly enjoyable “date” spent with someone would involve some sort of outing. Something adventurous, but not too strenuous. Just exploring small towns is enjoyable for me. Of course, finding special events – festival commemorations, concerts – is always better done with someone tagging along! Just sharing the moment, however insignificant, is worth the world. Another thing I would like very much is the idea of going out into nature, on some mountainside or by a lake, and having a good picnic or barbeque, collecting pieces of nature, accompanied by good conversation and a camera phone.

    I am also the sort of person who finds writing with others the very best way to get to know them. I love the creative sparks that fly, yes, even if things get heated at times! I love the long hours of brain-storming, the muddled product that we know needs rehashing, the cough drops and herbal tea from tug-of-warring it over details, the instrumental music belying of the wildness of our trends of thought. The unity such an experience produces, the pride in the finished product, is not to be matched.

    Indeed, I would never marry a man I could not write with, who could not draw the same electric current from working to create something true and beautiful through the clickety-clack of a keyboard. Another thing I should enjoy doing would be to cook with someone. Yes, shop for a bunch of oddly assorted groceries, bring them into a kitchen, and whip something to together! It doesn’t have to be complex or from scratch, but just something fun for immediate enjoyment. I’m visualizing such delicacies as English muffin pizzas, salad, and carrot cake, with vanilla Madagascar tea!

    And far be it from me to forge the pleasures of TV. I love movie marathons, with a conglomeration of utterly unrelated cinematic gems. Bring on period pieces, creature features, westerns, cartoons, and whatever else might be hanging around at the time! The hokier the better! There’s nothing like the unity of yelling at a TV screen together. Digging up music on YouTube is always fun too. Basically, just the concept of being around someone I’m comfortable enough with to tease, and be teased by, to squabble and make up, to find thoroughly impossible and love to pieces. Of course, some commonality in taste certainly would be helpful, but I don’t want a clone of myself. That would be no fun at all!

    Now, onto my Second Great Dream: It has always been the fondest desire in my heart to visit Britain as a pilgrim. I want to cross the island from Land’s End to the Orkneys, feeling the soul of the place, the people. There are so many things I long to see, hear, feel, taste, even smell! So many people I want to meet, to look into their eyes that I have never seen. I don’t want to just experience the grand things, but the small ones as well. I want to explore the towns and villages with the old churches, pubs, and ruined castles, and I want to meet the real people going about their daily lives.

   I want to see all the little historical markers, and meet the historical societies. I want to walk the “common land” – that wild side of Britain – to see the woods and marshes and lakes and the ocean that gave birth to a hundred thousand tales of triumph, defeat, and rejuvenation. I want to see where red coats were made, and the great oak in Sherwood stands, and I want to track Bonnie Prince Charlie and Robert Bruce. I want to stand on the deck of The Victory, and see the lakes of Beatrix Potter and the Cotswold’s that exude Jane Austen. I want to find the “real” Middle Earth in the shires of Tolkien. I want to try to speak Welsh with native speakers.

  I want to visit those vestiges of Catholicism: Walsingham, Cardigan, St. Ethedreda’s, Brompton Oratory, Westminster Cathedral, Tyburn Convent, and all the other small abbeys, convents, and churches that might welcome the pilgrim in. And I also want to see what is now Anglican: Westminster Abbey, Oxford University, Cambridge University, the ruins of Glastonbury, Canterbury Cathedral, the Isle of Iona, and all the other charming places unlisted. And yes, of course, beyond all the romantic quaintness, I shall see the cities too, powerful, bustling, billowing, and sometimes disturbing, yet always with a teeming vitality.
    I know my musings may sound like some airy-fairy dream, but it is one that I cling to. It has been said that Britain is whatever someone brings to it. Perhaps that is the case with me. I pray there may be peace when I come to Britain. Indeed beyond all the political struggles that I have engaged myself in is a desire that the British people may find peace with themselves, instead of constantly fighting to tear themselves asunder. As one Scot I know queried, “What have they done to my county?” Scotland must not turn into another Northern Ireland. I hope that all people of good will, no matter how they voted in the referendum, will put aside the past and help with the reconciliation process, to move forward for the good of all.

    When I visit Britain if I ever were to hike across, or take a camper across, or a little of each, I should like very much to have a companion along the way. Preferably, I would go with someone of like mind, with at least a reverence for the spiritual or perhaps even a devotion to the Catholic Faith. Perhaps I could get some of my British friends to accompany me on different legs of journey. Perhaps it will be a friend from America with the same burning intent. I cannot explain the origin, or even the ultimate end, of that intent; it either is, or it isn’t. I believe God puts it there.

The Isle of Iona


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