Sep 24, 2007

Dream World

"You've been living in a dream world, Neo." Morpheus haunts me. I had a professor that looked, acted, and talked just like the character from the Matrix. When we were still in college, he took Carolyn and I out to dinner in a little over-priced bistro in Nyack, NY. I don't remember much about the dinner, but I will never forget our conversation later that night.

Dr. M (we'll call him) was a very interesting man, he regularly left for days on end to play piano for Russian and Chinese Royalty, but he lived in our dorm building, in a small dorm room (at least he had a private bath) right between students. Every morning he walked the halls in his bathrobe and was a regular at all of the guy's dorm happenings. But he carried himself with grandiose stature and commanding presence. He was also very mysterious, mischievous and wise beyond words. He took a small handful of us into his care and built into us in ways that I am just now beginning to understand. To some he was like a father. To others, he was like a brother. To me, he was like a sage.

Like many college students, I was rambling through life without much experience. He gave me plenty in very little time. He was well versed in all of the subjects that intrigued me: philosophy, art, music, literature. He spoke of them on levels that I had never considered and forced me to keep up with his ramblings. So, when we returned from dinner and Carolyn had gone up to her room I was anxious for his take on my newfound love.

Dr. M, dressed in a dapper suit complete with a long black trench coat (I kid you not, he seriously looked like Morpheus and talked with the same calculated deep tone), stopped walking, put his hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eyes.

"Carolyn is a very special girl. She is exactly what you need." He turned and walked away. So did I. "Also, don't deserve her."
His last line bothered me. Why not? Why don't I deserve her? Of course I do! But now, I understand.

We live in a world of plenty. But, very few of us have any. And those of us that have, have a lot. Those of us that have, feel entitled. The media tells us that we deserve a lot of things. We tell each other that we deserve better. We tell ourselves that we deserve the best. But, really, none of us deserve anything.
So, when we get a shiny new thing (whatever it is) we call it a blessing, or a happy stroke of luck. But, if getting things is a blessing, then why do millions of people not get blessed? That does not jive with my understanding of God, the Universe and everything.

Thoreau said, "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone." I think he is on to something. Maybe the "things" that we work so hard for are really challenges, tests, opportunities. They are not blessings. That makes more sense. Those of us that have more, are more challenged than those with less. So what do we do with the entitlement mentality? Toss it.

When Dr. M told me that I didn't "deserve" Carolyn, he was bringing up a very good point. She was a challenge for me (and still is :)) and to think I deserved her love was to completely miss the point of our relationship. He later elaborated on why Carolyn was good for me. And I took all he said in. Most of it did not make sense for a long time. But now I realize the truth, "there is no spoon," (sorry, I couldn't resist) but seriously, the truth is that Carolyn and I are perfectly matched.

Okay, this has been a long way to the point, so thanks for hanging in there. Carolyn and I are living in a dream world right now. Nothing is as it seemed. Our world view is changing. Our perspective on God is changing. Our needs, wants, dreams are changing. In a very real sense we feel lost at sea. But, we are also pretty sure that we're heading in the right direction. I'm glad that we are together on this journey. Dr. M was right, I don't deserve her, but, she's exactly what I need.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved this post! Very truthful and touching. Vicki