As you know, I might be burying a dream soon.
I listened to Cedar Tree by the Indigo Girls yesterday. This line jumped out at me: “For every wife you buried, you planted a cedar tree.” As I repeated it silently to myself, I switched it to:
“For every dream you buried, you planted a cedar tree.”
And I’ve been thinking.
When one is burying a dream, one might as well plant another dream. The soil’s already fertile from all the tilling and tears. And those you love are already gathered around you for the burial, so they’d probably stay to witness the planting, too. And they’d likely love to join in celebrating and hoping again. Hope is not something that runs out. It can’t be taken or given. It’s a choice that can be made again and again infinite times. It is not dependent upon anything at all.
Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune without the words
and never stops at-all …..Emily Dickinson ( I love you, Emily.)
I’ve decided that this is what I’m going to do, for the rest of my life. I am going to keep hoping and keep dreaming and keep trying to make the world more beautiful. And when God says No to one of my beauty projects, I will pout for a while, and then I will say, okay. And I will bury that dream and I will plant another, while I’m out.
Since you all are already here, and our soil is fertile. . . will you stay to help me plant a new dream?
Bubba used to say this a lot: “To she whom much is given, much is expected.” He mostly said this when he wanted some of my popcorn, but I think it might have a deeper meaning.
And I think it’s probably true, that saying. People who feel blessed are compelled to bless others. That’s why guilting people into giving never works. People just need to feel blessed and then they won’t be able to help themselves. It’s why gratitude is like a tidal wave. And it’s why I do what I do here, I think. I love this awful world. I love the brave people in it. I want to help. I want to help give people what they deserve for all their courage. I want to say thank you, a million times a day, in tiny and huge ways.
I’ve also been thinking about math. In eighth grade algebra, which made me cry daily, I learned that if a =b, then b= a.That’s about as far as I got with algebra.
If that strange algebra rule is true, than the converse of Bubba’s saying must also be true:
“From she whom much is expected, much is given.”
I like that one even better.
There are two Monkees named Dana and Amy. They have a dear friend named Jen. Jen’s little boy, Carter, died at seventeen months of a rare disease. It took Jen and her husband some time to muster the courage and faith to try for another baby, but try again they did, and baby Silas was born in 2010. Several months ago Silas was diagnosed with the same rare disease that took his big brother’s life. He is now fighting for his little humungous life, with his warrior parents praying at his bed side.
Let us not waste our precious time discussing the injustice. Life is brutal, yes. Life is also beautiful, so we must become part of the beauty right now. Let us roll up our sleeves and plant a tree.
Amy and Dana contacted me a couple of months ago. They asked the Monkees to help their friend. Specifically, they asked for prayers and fundraising. Yes, I said. Yes, Yes, Yes. Give me some time. There is a project in the works with Silas’ name all over it.
You see, Monkee Colleen and her friends, Peter and Patty, from Main Street Design were already hard at work creating an entire Monkee Fashion Line for us. You won’t believe it ‘till you see it. Hoodies, t-shirts, kids clothes, pool bags, recycled grocery bags….the works. And you get to CHOOSE your colors. And you get to CHOOSE the quote you want on the back! I could die. Okay, go look real quick and come right back. We’ll wait.
I watched this amazing project unfold in front of me, but I didn’t know who it was all for until Dana and Amy called. Until they called on behalf of their friend. Then I knew.
Here’s the financial skinny on this project.
Craig and I paid to have the site created. Main Street Clothing gave me a base price for each item, and I added $10 to each base price to create the final price. Every penny above and beyond the base price that is paid to Main Street will accumulate in an account. I will be the only one with access to the account. Each month, Peter will send me a check from that account, and I will send every penny to Silas’ family, via Amy and Dana. I want Amy and Dana to hand Jen the checks.
Let us clarify a few things.
What we offer to Silas’ family, be it a little or a lot, will be a gift with no strings attached to the past or future. No background checks will be done. We will not wonder if this family “deserves’ our gifts and love or not. They do. Every one does. Every one deserves a whole lot more than we could ever offer. I will also never ask them what they’ve done with the money. If Jen wants to head to Vegas and bet all our Monkee cash on black I will close my eyes and pray for black. I also refuse to wonder whether the Camerons “need” the money or not. I think they need it, since Silas’ dad forfeits part of his family’s income each time he chooses to stay at Jen’s side. But I don’t know. All I know is what I need. And that is to do something. Anything. This thing. I just want to be clear, so you know what kind of project we’re talking about here. Monkee Love has no prerequisites or expectations.
“I’ve come to reach out blind, to reach forward and behind…”- Joe Pugg
So listen. Let’s do this thing for the Camerons. Let’s do this little thing with big love.
Please pass this post along and tell your friends that the REVOLUTION IS HERE!!! It’s like the RAPTURE, BUT BETTER….’CAUSE THERE’S HOODIES!!!
Life is brutal. It is also beautiful. Let us help counter-act the brutal. Let us be beauty-makers. Let us plant.
And to answer your silent question, Monkees…yes. If you ever need us to do a project like this for your family….yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. God (and the Monkees) will provide. Because the problem is never that we ask too much of each other. It’s that we don’t ask enough.
We Belong To Each Other, after all.
*This project was Colleen’s idea and Peter and Patty’s (from Main Street Clothing) creation. We are all grateful for your generosity, creativity, and love.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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