Do you ever dream?

Do you ever dream?

Do you ever dream?

Do you ever dream the sorts of dreams that make your toes twitch and your whiskers flicker?

I stood in the Quinn’s Corner atrium, transfixed by a slumbering Ponce de Leon.* Light years from this dimension, the cinnamon cat sizzled like a sparkler. His extra toes were electric, playing some mystic grand piano. His long whiskers wiggled to the rhythm of his inner story.

He was not concerned with his two retroviruses, his one best friend Durin, or the zero hours he can predict or control.

He was one with the dream.

Do you ever dream?

Do you ever dream the sorts of dreams that ask more than you have to give? It is one thing to dream of discount string cheese or a remake of Cool Runnings. It is something else entirely to dream of seeking the lost and plucking the last-picked. It is a fearsome call when the dream dreams you, and all you can say is “here I am.”

These are Poncey-sized dreams. The cat most laden with diseases is the cat most full of light. It is no secret that Ponce, assisted by Durin, is Tabby’s Place’s Great Comforter. Should you find yourself low, you must find yourself a seat in Suite I. A cinnamon cat with matching retroviruses will hold his candle to yours, and you will resurrect with light.

Do you ever dream?

Do you ever dream that you will be taken, like a flower on the wind, by a dream too big for you? Dreams are masters of disguise, mysticism in holey overalls, and most days they bamboozle us into thinking we are “only” doing the laundry or scrubbing the litter box or brushing a single silky pilgrim. Dreams know, like cats know, that we are a species easily overwhelmed. If we should ever see the size of what we’ve been asked, we would hop in our bobsleds and scoot off to Santa Monica, to ride the Ferris Wheel glassy-eyed until we forgot about dreaming.

But the dream won’t forget us.

Do you ever dream?

Do you ever dream that you might actually pursue the thing that chases you? A dream is a satisfying cotton-candy cloud until you let it wiggle your whiskers. But it is coming for you, and it is faster than you, and the day will come when you smash into each other in the middle of the road. Will you embrace?

Jonathan hugged the dream, and Tabby’s Place was born. It is newborn every time we tremble forth a “yes.” It comes of age every time we feel love rush through us, larger and stronger than we are. It touches the far end of time’s tail when we crown the tiny or renown the weak. It pummels the pyramids until the last are first, the Ponceys and the kittens and the Prescotts and the Fergies.

Do you ever dream?

Do you ever dream that, by saying “yes” to a rumpled bag of secrets like Lawrence, you are actually, audaciously, improbably, incandescently changing the world?

Lawrence, loved on arrival. This is the dream.

These are the dreams you can’t speak aloud to most humans, salamanders, or senators. Dignified people will look at you crookedly if you say, “today we took in a hungry striped mammal who does not yet like us. It was a historic moment.”

“Just one mammal?” they will ask. “Not ten thousand? Call me if you save ten thousand.”

“Just one. But he was hungry.”

“What made him special?” they will demand, already ogling the door. “Was he a tycoon, a mastermind, a captain of industry? How is he excellent?”

“He was hungry.” The dream makes you its mouthpiece, and you blush but cannot lie. “He was alone. He was the entire world.”

By now the dignified people will have invented excuses to leave, which is just as well. You can get back to the dream.

You can get back to Lawrence, whose cover letter is empty and whose business card reads only NEED. You can get back to the dawn that is breaking every hour you let your heart break open. You can get back to the waking dream of being one who loves too much.

You can be assured that you will be held by the dream itself, and you will rattle many from slumber.

Do you ever dream?

*PS from the land of audacious dreaming: Since I wrote this post, PONCE DE LEON HAS BEEN ADOPTED. This is not a drill. PONCE DE LEON. HAS. BEEN. ADOPTED. More on this soon. Meantime: if ever you needed permission to dream, consider this it.

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