Monday, January 18, 2010

Things Promised: A Dream

I wrote down this dream about three years ago, a few days before New Year's in 2006. It was raw then, and it's still a bit raw now. I still think about this, years later...

I had a dream last night.

I dreamed that I was in a beautiful glass corner office, with sunlight streaming in to a pile of small, wire-bound books on my desk, some of them as small as a few inches across. I was talking on the phone with a woman, and whatever easygoing charm I could muster was not working in this client relationship. I had missed a deadline, apparently, largely because I had paid no attention to the job, agreeing to do it, with the idea that I could easily pull it off "In my spare time."

Her words stung.

"I don't know how you do this. Your references all give you far more credit than you earned. They all say things like, he did a good job, except for that incident with the blue paint, or that bit with the skylight; how was that involved in what you were designing, anyway?"

Her voice trailed away as I picked up two of the other receivers that had been sitting on my desk, and I tried listening to them at the same time. One was a man who had obviously been talking for some time, under the impression that I had been listening, and had just realized five seconds before I picked up that I wasn't, and I had no clue. What had I promised him, anyway? The phone cords snaked about my desk, wrapped around my wrists as I went from one to the other.

"Look," said the woman's voice, "I'm trying to help you here. You've obviously got talent, but it's going to be taken away if you don't use it." The little green book stared out at me: Things Promised. I had to write them all down. I had to do them. I had to not forget them.

I awoke, wracked with the burden of many things I had said I would do, but didn't. How many things had I promised? How many little jobs had God brought me, and I had botched, because I thought I had more time than I did? Could I even list them all? Were those things going to be taken away now, and given to someone else?

Mentally, I took that little green book, and began to write...

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