It is in the silence that life is conceived
It is in the quiet that the heart is discovered
It is in the whispers that dreams are stirred
Whispers are all around us if we but hear. Christians would say that God whispers to us continuously. Other faiths all suggest something similar from their “god” as well. I would suggest that life is full of whispers gently stirring our thoughts feelings and souls.
Whispers are fundamental to nature itself.
Who hasn’t heard the whispers in the trees as they are stirred by a gentle breeze? Who hasn’t experienced the whisper in the gentle flow of a stream or the caress of a shoreline by moving waters of a lake or an ocean?
Who hasn’t reflected on the whisper of gentle rain as it softly touches a rooftop. And, who hasn’t felt the whisper of a rose unfolding its beauty or that of a cooing baby stirring love in the heart.
Who has time to listen to life’s whispers in today’s world with its hurriedness and noise? Much more importantly, who has the time for dreams? Even in our world of pragmatism, dreams still exist and whispers surround us, despite the frenetic environment with which we have surrounded ourselves. During my visit to India several years ago, it was amazing to me, to find havens of silence amongst some of the busiest streets in the world. Here the whispers abounded as one transcended to the quiet from voluminous noise.
Dreams have been a preoccupation with me over the past several weeks; my own, those of my special friend Tanya, and others from people with whom I work. In fact, my realization is that, most of my life has been spent around dreams. Growing up in Newfoundland there was time for dreams, even though we were remote from the world with its modernity and prosperity. Age and experience has taught me that Newfoundland had a different kind of prosperity. It is very similar to what I have seen since coming to Ukraine and something which is nearly lost to the world. It is a prosperity that cherishes the richness of time, feelings and soul. Growing up in Newfoundland, the way it was, there was time to dream and space to contemplate the soul and its hidden treasures. My work for most of my life has involved dreams; those that were conjured into my own mind and those shared by others with whom it has been my blessing to meet.
At this stage of life one can look back on the dreams realized, some so subtle that they didn’t appear to be dreams at all. Others were so intense that we hated to let them go. Then there were those that appeared as just a mystical vapour far from any reach.
Perhaps, what has stirred my consciousness to dreams and the whispers that stir them are those mystical vapours that surround me now. Dreams so close, but tantalizingly just far enough removed, to cause wonder and reflection.
Dreams are individual. But, they are similar to others’, because like life, they originate from the same source. Dreams, like the soul, are in the domain of the self, different yet connected.
In our world, there are many who discount dreamers. This appears, especially so, among those vying for power. We now see in many countries, prospective leaders espousing the need for security, rather than hope, and pragmatism, rather than dreams. Why have dreams, when you can buy stuff, because the more you buy the better the economy and the more you can have. Stuff might fill the hole of need and greed, but it will never satisfy the soul; as most are now discovering. The foundation of the soul is built on dreams and though we may not see the soul, we feel and experience it each time a dream is set free. Everyone has a soul and even the poorest of the poor has a dream, even if, it’s a little sustenance for the body.
Most keep dreams immersed deep within their souls. They feel that they are so precious that they need protection. But precious things only have value if they are shared. Dreams, like the souls that house them, vie for freedom and release, in order to be connected to real life and, in sharing, become so much more. That is the reason for the whispers to stir and entice us to shift our dreams toward attention and expression. It is only in expression and realization that a dream has worth and the soul feels value.
I have felt the stirring of dreams, watched as they were stirred in others and at times abetted the whispers in order that they be given expression. I can bear witness to the passions that have been stoked by the stirring of a dream, sometimes until the flame of desire would not be suppressed. And I have marveled as the dreams unfolded and experienced the feelings of richness and joy of accomplishment, both within my self and shared by others.
I have also watched as dreams were diminished, dismissed and extinguished and felt the pain of an unfolding nightmare, not because of misplaced dreams, but from the fear of others of their release. Throughout history, those that would control have stymied the dreams of others whom they wish to control. The lessons of history suggest that this is an impossible notion – for dreams will not be stifled or suppressed. Eventually they will find release; even if it takes generations. You only have to reflect upon today’s collapsing empires and the new countries that are unfolding; this current process has only just begun.
Some would suggest that dreams are only for dreamers and not for doers. Yet, without a dream there is naught to do. Our world is full of doers, those toiling at the mind numbing tasks that have been created to keep them busy. They dream of the day when they can leave this useless toil and live a real life – some actually do upon retirement. Dreams are now the purview of the rich, the powerful and corrupt.
But, in reality, dreams are in the realm of all, are limitless and will eventually bring significant change, even to this so called “advanced world” that we have created.
Our forbearers dreamt us into this world of wonder, where we now can see at a glimpse, the fascinating planet that we inhabit with its unique self sustaining ecosystem. Centuries ago they dreamt us into an even greater wonder, that of the soul and its fathomless depths of spiritual wisdom. Yet we appear to have dismissed this dream of the soul, its importance to life and its ability to provide spiritual nourishment. Now it is evident that we are determined to destroy the very wonder of the world and nature and all that gives life to the body needed to sustain the soul. Despite the phenomenal human capacity to dream, we seem determined to regress to the caves, where it took millennia to discover the importance of dreams.
The world needs dreamers at this time more than we need doers, even though both are important. We need dreamers more than pragmatic dictatorial leaders, most of whom advocate their solution. History bears witness to others’ solutions. Real answers that provide solutions are in the hearts, souls and dreams of people. We need dreamers who can facilitate a world of care, compassion and sharing to counter those who dominate the world with their message of need and greed. The world is full of dreams and dreamers. They have been evident wherever life has taken me. They are part of my every day life in my work and in my living. Perhaps dreamers (including myself) are held back by a fear of being without and left out. But, to have everything and not the freedom to dream and fulfill that dream, is to have nothing at all.
Dreams like life itself are conceived in the silence of our soul; they grow in the quiet of the heart and are born in the whispers of the mind. In this world of noise perhaps the whispers go unheard and the dreams stay hidden deep in the soul. But whispers, if unheard, become more voluminous and like the wind and sea in a storm or a baby’s cry, they will be heard.
Freedom is the food of the soul, the heart of a dream and the very foundation of life itself. The whole world is reverberating now as the whispers grow, telling us its time to awaken the dreams within – whatever they are – and recreate the world before life and nature do it for us. Never before have the whispers of life been so loud – yet those in power and control seem deaf to the noise. As in history, the tiny dreams of the marginalized and the oppressed will eventual connect and a bigger dream will appear. Perhaps it won’t be too late to save human existence itself.
Written by Bill Pardy
March 15th, 2008
Illustrations by Tanya Kudina