We Must Dream


We’ve been told we can no longer dream
of a time when education would be free
That it is impossible to live without disparities of some kind

We’ve been told we can no longer dream
of a world without poverty or without war

We’ve been told

That we must provide funding for the military and buy 65 airplanes and build 20 frigates representing 85 pieces of equipment

That would cost us
over $50 billion dollars

a lone number 5 that has 10 zeros proceeding it

A number that never appeared on our parent’s calculators, because it didn’t fit, because we never had to count that high

A number that would feed 2.5 million children or build over 3000 schools or provide jobs for over 1 million nurses

And yet, we are told we are naïve, to question it’s value

We’ve been told we can no longer dream
of a world that uses no fossil fuels, that pollutes no rivers,
that erases no mountain tops
as that is uneconomical and so we must create scars on our planet that become visible from
space

We’ve been told our alternatives are hopeless, unrealistic, and not of the right time
Even though cooperation and collectives flourish and have in many cultures for thousands of years

We’ve been told
That there is not enough solar or wind power to replace burning fuels – even though the sun has been around longer than we have

We’ve been told
That the science around climate change is in debate –
even though
the only one’s debating it are paid for by the companies who are most affected by our believing it may not be true

even though
Wharves and dykes that have survived hundreds of years are becoming submerged, as are whole islands in the Pacific

Even though
The only thing Canadians used to be able to talk about without acrimony in a social setting was the weather

We’ve been told that when we talk about providing money for the arts, or culture, or social concerns that:
There is no money
That it’s not our priority
We need to focus on jobs and the economy
Artists are lazy

Even though,
Artists work full time in other jobs so they can pay for the art they do
Art makes money – and sometimes it doesn’t – and how do you know? and does it matter?
Even though,
Art is beautiful and art is ugly
Art can makes us happy, or sad, or thoughtful, or outraged, or curious, or leave
us in awe
Because Art makes us feel

We’ve been told we can no longer dream about an end to hunger, or AIDS, or abuse, or addictions, or greed, or homelessness

Because it costs too much, it’s not affordable,
because that’s the way it is

Because, we’ve been told we can not dream of these things,
That we cannot imagine these things
Because they are not possible

Even though, we flew to the moon,
we can rip apart the smallest particles of life to produce nuclear energy
we created money and keep creating it, adding more and more, as if there is no ceiling to wealth
we talk on the phone to our neighbours and video conference our family across fields and continents
we produce more guns on this planet then textbooks

Yet we are told we can no longer dream,
or we are dreaming
Or we are living in a fantasy world
Because they don’t want us to dream, or imagine, or even talk about something different

So maybe,

we need to dream

Maybe we need to make our dreams into our truth
Maybe we need to stop being shy about spreading our dreams
Maybe tax cuts, and fiscal balance, and economic restructuring are smokescreens that hide us from our most fervent wishes,

that we must not only dream
about free tuition
and the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom,
and health care for everyone,
a home to live in
good, healthy, fresh food to eat
and work that nourishes our bodies, our soul and our minds

and freedom and prosperity are what we create not from stock dividends, and currency speculation, and futures trading, but from each other

So, even though they tell us we can no longer dream

Dreaming, in fact is what we must do

And once we dream it, we must speak about it, and shout it out, and run on the streets with it,

Because then,
and only then,
is it really possible

 

 

-Stephen Law-

 (April 2012)