"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Thursday, October 20, 2011


by Micky Wolf

I was probably about 15 years old when Ms. R’s eyes of steely dark blue zeroed in on me. Standing next to my father in the short line of parents with other teens being targeted for the timeless rite of semester inspection did not help matters. Sensing my father’s gaze now as well, “the look” was enough to induce a cold sweat in the warmest places of one’s body on the most frigid hour in the depths of an Ohio winter. 

“Micky is a good student,” Ms. R stated.

“Yes, she always does her homework,” my father responded.

“Yes, but—“

Here it comes, the dreaded but

“It would be interesting to see how much better she could do if she didn’t spend as much time looking out the window, daydreaming.” The feelings and thoughts emerging in that moment were an implosion of love and hate. Five minutes before I had totally adored Ms. R, now, all that had evaporated into the still, stuffy air.

“We have wondered the same thing,” my father added, not missing a beat. He certainly was not being at all helpful. What is it about the hanging slam dunk that is always so satisfyingly effective for the one with the ball?

I wanted to melt into the floor. Their silently mutual recognition of my present state of humiliation as sufficient punishment did little to soothe the newly inflicted wound. I barely managed to maintain my composure while they concluded their inspection.

In that moment, daydreaming took on a painful resemblance to an act of mortal transgression. Gazing out my bedroom window days later, images, words and ideas soaring within, not unlike the winged creatures and filmy clouds overhead, ‘this cannot be all bad’, I reasoned. Although you can darn well bet Ms. R never caught me again in the cross hairs of her steely blues.

Dreaming, in the day time no less, has fostered and nurtured many an idea and concept into reality. History is replete with writers, artists, scientists and plenty of other folks who have given us the very practical fruit of their dreams that have changed our world, often times for the better.

While it may be wisdom to choose when and where we engage in this most freeing of human activities, I hope you will give into this experience from time to time. Who knows what kind of gifts your dreams may be to the rest of us?

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