Some impossible dreams are hard to even imagine. My mind literally cannot imagine them. And then there are the impossible dreams that can be imagined, walked in, revisited. At nights, I revisit mental worlds I've made. Whether the imagined world was created for a story or as a nighttime sexual fantasy or was born in regret, a might-have-been shoulda-coulda parallel life.
These wishes and daydreams play so easily across my mind's eye. They are so solid that I can enter and leave them at any time, at will. Because they have been my parallel life for so long and are so inhabited and lived in. The strange thing is that these fantasies are utterly, utterly impossible. In them I am usually young and thin, healthy and unencumbered by anything from my so-called "real" life. And even those daydreams in which I allow my present self to roam old and fat, the task of entering the daydream of the alternate reality is eerily easy.Yet I don't expect to see these dreams manifest any time in my life. Because parallel lives are only possible in the mental world, and turmnng back time in order to choose a different life...is not something our physicists have much power over. I may believe in string theory and multiverses but this particular me is physicially locked inside this particular universe on this unchangeable irrevocable path. The everpresent God alone is capable of being and doing in the simultaneous past, future, and present.
There are impossible dreams thar I cannot even imagine, though. At those times, it's as if my mind cannot, for instance, release itself from the actual to dare to dream or imagine better things. Try as I might, I cannot see myself well. I cannot see my son well. Even to daydream...my mind balks.
I sit on my bed and attempt the What-if? Game. What if I were suddenly well? What if my son could talk and suddenly stopped being sickly? What would I do? I try to imagine us bicycling through the town together. I can't do it. I try to imagine him speaking. I can't do it. Whch is strange. I have spent hours in bed daydreaming of parallel lives, of incidents and people who do not exist...of people who do exist but who would never love me...of strange speculative fiction worlds far from earth. I know those strange impossibilities so well.
But to have faith ..to hope for some possible good..some possible outcome of a longstanding prayer...no, my mind cannot conceive, cannot sow, cannot plant, cannot water..such thoughts.
I'm thinking of a sweepstakes in college and a friend who wanted a blender, the second prize. The first prize was a bicycle. This friend simply decided that she would pray for the blender then believe she had received it. Pics of the blender were all over her house. She talked about where she should put "her" blender. The day of the sweepstakes, all the entrants were in the college hall. Before the winning name was announced for the blender, my friend had already risen from her seat and was walking to receive it. Of course she won the blender! The universe had gotten the word that it was aready hers. Her mind and the blender had become one in God's mind. I've had two other friends lilke that...folks who simply believe that good will come to them because God is taking of them...folks who are constantly winning sweepstakes, getting gifts, lucking out, riding serendipity and coincidences.
Is this why hope is called a discipline by the saints? Must we train ourselves to daydream good things? Must we gather all our mental strength to simply believe we are loved and made to receive good from a universe with a kind-heart at its center? Is that what the greatest battle of faith is? To trust in a God who has created a world where good flows naturally..if we can only rest in that flow?
St Paul encourages us to have useful imaginations. But how easy has it been for me to train my imagination to ponder worlds and events that cannot happen...yet to have no skill or discipline to dream that things in this actual world will get better. Can I attain to the renewal of my imagination and my mind ...even now? Can I learn to sit still and to imagine the far-fetched coming true in actuality? Can I own the skill of willfully erasing all the negative images my pessimistic fears have painted?