What If You Dreamed?
When you contemplate your future do you consider your dreams or your heartbreaks?
This week as my students and I continued on our “What If” journey, I adapted our usual opening ritual to draw inspiration from Meditations in an Emergency by Cameron Awkward-Rich and asked my students these questions:
- What is breaking your heart?
- What are you dreaming?
- What is in your stupid heart today?
We then dipped into Encanto with Surface Pressure to ask:
- What pressures do you face?
- What struggles go on beneath your surface?
- What worry drip drip drips on you?
Drawing inspiration from Lines for Winter by Mark Strand, we considered where we are going, where we will be at the end, and if we will love what we are when we get there.
Then we wrapped up our first day of writing with the invitation offered by In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa by Ada Limon and a tantalum metal vault plate affixed to the Europa Clipper spacecraft and engraved with the poem. I urged my students to consider what message they want to send into the universe with Limon’s closing lines in their mind:
We, too, are made of wonders, of great
and ordinary loves, of small invisible worlds,
of a need to call out through the dark.
Later that week we returned to contemplate our future again with Stability Is a Feeling by Nazifa Islam as we wrote to these questions:
- What future horrifies you?
- What seems impossible about the future?
We then considered our guiding philosophy and our destiny using work: an ode for the human micropoem* by Jennifer Karmin as inspiration. Returning to Encanto, we considered What Else Can I Do? and what might be holding us back.
Calling Dreams by Georgia Douglas Johnson and some Nikki Giovanni wrapped up this round of writing as we asked what dreams we demanded of our life:
“i hope i die
by the life i tried
to live”Nikki Giovanni
I think too often we succumb to the heartbreak of dreaming because we are afraid to demand more of life. What will you demand? Put it in writing.