Why We Can’t Follow Our Dreams. ~ Kathryn Ashworth

Via Kathryn Ashworth on Jan 6, 2014

Chasing Dreams

A woman sits cross-legged, resting her hands upon her outer thighs.

She feels the heat from her palms, notices the warmth of the body. She feels that same warmth travel through each cell, knowing how well, full well, she is being created right now.

Sometimes she thinks about the future and wants to follow it. She knows the little chemical reactions, fleshing the body, are much like these little steps. All she has to do is start reacting towards this future, and whatever it all means.

She kneads and presses the now with the life inside her hands, watching as time rises to take shape and meet a space ahead of her, and as she does, something comes forward to speak from where she doesn’t know, and it says: “This is only a dream.”

She knows the future is a dream. And maybe the voice has said this before, but the person responding (this woman) is also beginning to know that dreams don’t mean the same thing to her as they did before. Because dreaming means so many things to so many different people, and she has been reconciling with what it means to want anything at all, especially a future, as we so often live deeply inside other people’s worlds.

Dreams have also meant many different things to her. For awhile, they were a means of escape. Then the escape changed with the dream, and it made it all seemed so real. The longer she lived inside her imagination, there became no way around—and it meant living in a day to day that she could not touch. Before long she began to wonder if she had ever really touched anything at all—and did she have a sense, or had they withered outside her mind, leaving only the world inside.

The world inside never left her bored, or wanting. The world inside was all she had. And for so long it was enough. But when she began to move, ever so slowly outside of that tortoise shell, she began to really feel, and to feel that the world she lived in never had been tolerated, and so she found another way around it. And this became the future. She thought she’d create another world, outside of her, from brick and stone—making it whatever it should be, to fit her real.

And so, the dream she lived inside her head became the one she followed with her feet. Like a good explorer, she followed, and she followed on—into a future. Each day she assembled a smaller segment of the path towards it, and the point was simply that she persevered, that she kept going. See, she had never really walked before—she had only ever floated—so she didn’t know how solid land could be yet and it seemed even clouds might be stronger.

But there was so much to determine with each step; she knew she must decide exactly who she would be, and when she landed, this world outside her head would be exactly the kind of place a woman like her could live in. But this warmth inside her body was no different than any other, and without real power, her powers failed her.

With each palm, she feels that… now. And she remembers here what someone told her so long ago, in another dream (because some dreams are real):

 “Try very, very hard to be here. Find kindness. And whenever you can, slip inside that place where all there is, is love.”

And suddenly she wants to know what everything means, and see the way things unfold outside the tower she looked down from for so long.

Because we can’t follow anything—there is only that which follows in memory. And we can’t create the world outside of us each day as though it were full of tomorrows.

So she will try very hard to find that place where dreams and reality meet, remembering that the future lives solely for itself.


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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: elephant archives


About Kathryn Ashworth

Kathryn Ashworth lives in Richmond, Virginia with her cat Johfrit (the littlest knight).  When she’s not writing and daydreaming, she’s grounding herself on the yoga mat. She believes in the transformative power of art and spirituality. Currently she’s studying to become a certified yoga instructor. She welcomes new friends. You can find her on Facebook.



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