It’s all about dreaming lately. Not sure why. No, wait.. I am sure why. There are things I want to do.. and in my own bumbling way, I’m figuring them out–with the help of Amazon.com.
Recently, I ordered a few items and it wasn’t until later I saw the pattern in my purchases.. and I have to admit it surprised and delighted me a little.
Carolyn See’s memoir, Dreaming: Hard Luck And Good Times In America, is a book I’ve wanted to read for a long time. These pages are brutal and excruciatingly honest– sometimes making them hard to read. But that didn’t stop me from inhaling all 300 pages of this book like a new lover. When I wasn’t reading it I wanted to be. When I was, I didn’t want to stop. See has me hooked. Her colorful, wild life is what prompted the book’s final sentence: “It has to do with dreaming, inventing, imagining, yearning, and there’s more of it–like blue smoke–in the American Dream than we’re ever, ever, going to be able to acknowledge or admit.”
Can’t Stop Dreaming by Daryl Hall (Hall and Oates) is a CD I’ve had on my mind for awhile, too.
Hall’s vocals are urgent, and his serpentine voice glides over the scale and back again in an instant. He makes it sound easy. I’ve been a fan of his forever. And whaddaya know–the cuts are almost all about dreaming! There’s even one I think Hall must have included as an homage to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On? He calls it All By Myself. Oooooh baby.
I loved these purchases. However, there’s another item, even meatier and more interesting in some ways, that scares me a little. I think it’s because it requires more of the recipient than just breathing or listening–it wants us to participate. And particularly because of this book’s origins and my own dreaming–I want to.
You Can Do It–The Merit Badge Handbook For Grownup Girls by Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas is a celebration of her life that, although was ultimately put together by her sisters, was conceptualized by Lauren. She had the idea in the works when her life ended abruptly on United flight 93 on September 11, 2001. Her sisters, Vaughn Lohec and Dara Near kept Lauren’s dream alive by completing a book she undoubtedly would have loved.
Merit badges range from sky diving to knitting to learning how to negotiate. Each one features a mentor who dishes out inspiration and instruction, complete with a sticker merit badge to put wherever you want. This book reminds me that although I’m not particularly interested in trying everything within its pages, there’s a world of creativity and challenge that awaits those wanting to live fully.
What Catuzzi-Grandcolas’s book invites me to do is think not only outside the box, but everywhere that’s NOT the box. It encourages me to live my dreams.. and maybe even a few things that weren’t ever on that list, but might be fun to try.
When dreaming becomes tangible, whether in books we are drawn to, music we seek out or activities that invite personal risk, we need to listen. It’s easy to fall into insentience.. to barely keep up with the status quo. No wonder we find ourselves unconsciously watching the Frasier marathon on Lifetime. Life’s too much to handle sometimes.
But that’s because we forget to dream. Dreaming isn’t about lamenting something we never get. It’s about nudging us to action..