-Mark Stefanik is a middle school language arts teacher. He writes frequently and poetically for this blog. I try to get him to do it more often.
It’s a weekend for dreamers.
I wonder how many of this readership still dream.
I’m aiming for the Boomers whose freedom to dream was unprecedented in American History.
You know who you are. Fairy tales did come true and they happened to you.
Civil Rights affirmed and expanded.
A Great Society that owned the care of the poor, the sick, and the old.
Ending a war whose victims included not just people, but our moral center.
Equality for women (at least a start).
Stewardship of the environment.
Not a bad legacy for a decade disparaged. Not a bad reminder for a generation dismayed.
I’m aiming for the Boomers whose chances to dream remain alive in retirement.
Frank Smith once wrote, “Reality is a fantasy that works.” His idea haunts my world view and sustains what little efforts I make.
Again, as we enter a weekend that celebrates one of our greatest dreamers, as we prepare for the hand-off of one fantasy to another, I wonder how many of us still dream. As I begin my glide path to retirement this June, I reflect upon what I’ll do with the dream time afforded me by that decision.
Hope is key(‘ A good thing, maybe the best of things’). I hope to be purposeful. I hope to build upon the dreams bestowed upon me for my children and theirs. I hope that, no matter what, I’ll participate, not abdicate (got a little MLK fever with that one). I hope to be better, not bitter.
I confess that I am still under the illusion that my best days, our best days, lie ahead. We Boomers have witnessed the dizzying power of the transformation of fantasies into realities.
We have played a role in much of this. Why stop now?
I am torn between hitting ‘delete’ or ‘send’ with this piece. Some of my inner editors are shrieking, “Sappy…preachy…a relic of a failed philosophy.”
Above the din, though, I hear another voice singing a lyric:
“Here’s to the ones that dream
Foolish as they may seem.
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make.”