Letter From a Former Prisoner

illustration [Converted]

I am a prisoner. I didn’t do anything wrong. All I did was dream. I dreamt there was something more. I dreamt I would somehow become more than the sum of my parts. I dreamt the potential I felt within would find a place in this world.

But then reality set in. The cold reality of dollars and cents, the harsh reality that making dreams real is hard work, and the simple reality that I am just a little man. A little man with big dreams.

So my dreams started to shift. They became small, more manageable. Instead of wonder I sought peace. In place of the inner fire I craved a simple warmth. Instead of conquest I longed for comfort. It became easier and less guilt-ridden to focus on dreaming within reality rather than making impossible dreams real. These simplified, watered-down dreams started being fulfilled, and everything seemed perfect.

That’s when the dreams turned on me. Instead of liberating me and taking me to otherworldly places, they began to imprison me in my own little world. They formed great walls of stone that pretended they existed forever as they blocked out the sound of hope beyond them. They formed cold steel bars that cynically let the sun shine through the windows while they blocked me for ever reaching its rays. When the inner light within would put up a fight, they would call in doctors and shrinks, experts in the art of containment through rationalization aimed at protecting sanity and sanitation. They removed my brain and my heart, and replaced then with reasonable facsimiles that performed the right functions and followed a predetermined script. They placed guards at the door, guilt on the left and excuses on the right, to keep unwanted visitors away. The perfect dream was in fact a perverse, self-made prison that was torturing my soul.

In an instant, as soon as I became aware of it and accepted this fact unequivocally, the real dreams returned, together with the other souls who shared them with me. Their purity and innocence and optimism shattered through the prison, all its darkness and all its comfort. I found my self in the wilderness, a primordial being wandering in the burning heat toward some distant unknown sun, toward some impossible oasis, not knowing what the next moment would bring. But I was free.

And all of this happened on Sunday afternoon.

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