"Our truest life is in our dreams awake.
-Henry David Thoreau

What happens to a vision vanquished? Where does
 it go? Does it fall down into a heap at your
feet or shatter like a piece of glass so you have

to be careful where you step, or does it fly at the speed
                        of light back to the place where it was born
for a decent burial, and are the voices in the vision

forever stilled? Paul Mitchell giving A's to
            all of his students, large case or small, as they justly
deserved, so only they knew, and knew he knew, and then

there's Frank Heys explaining why we wanted freedom in
 the first place, how it might all be done a differently, this
thing that can be large, and don't ask the history teachers to

explain why a vision gets vanquished, because they won't know, it's
 too entangled, far easier to explain the five causes of WWI than
to find the moment when it started to unravel, yes, "Times change, we

are told, and the moment bursts like a bubble, disappearing
 into vapor, choice by insignificant choice until it's gone,
as if it never happened, the way one week blends into another, and

then there's the egos, the ambitions, the principled convictions, the
 sincerely-felt, the currying of favor, the personal agendas, the
opportunistic. the well-intended, and always, always, the fears and anxieties,

the familiar scenary of the human stage, where courage is possible no less
            than capitulation, where visions are not only spurned but spun,
and where life belongs to the living, and where the living can still dream.

With a nod to Langston Hughes.
February 8, 2003

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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