“I have spread my dreams under your feet; / Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”
—W. B. Yeats, “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”
5:30 a.m. and I am on Facebook. Something is wrong with this picture. One, I should still be asleep and two . . .Facebook, really? So at least I had something good come from that, “51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature.”
I often write down sentences from books I read because they move me in some way. I have my own list, which by the way, I think I’ll post at some point. But today, I found this post and this particular sentence: “I have spread my dreams under your feet; / Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” I don’t know the poem so I don’t know the context for which it was intended but I do know I have my own understanding at the moment, which is what literature is about anyway. We can’t know what an author intended, and in most cases it doesn’t matter because it is all up to interpretation anyway.
There are so many instances where we spread our dreams under someone’s feet, even under our own feet, only to have them stained by footprints of those who don’t pay attention or realize the power they have and the importance we place on them. I just recently ended a relationship with a volunteer fundraising organization I have been involved with for the past nine years. Actually, they ended me; I just took the time to write a letter acknowledging it. We had a falling out for which I don’t know the reason but it left me outside the loop and with no sense of completion or closure.
Effort, passion, heart, we give because we are motivated by some desire to make a difference. We want the world to be a better place. We want to help others. We may even want to heal a hole in our own soul. Whichever it is, it is always both selfless and selfish in nature. We NEED to do this and we need acknowledgment for our part.
Unfortunately that does not always happen as we hope. I imagine it is some lesson I am supposed to be learning because it has happened in many instances in my life. My career as a teacher ended ugly and unceremoniously, I received my bachelors degree without ever attending my graduation, I have left other endeavors without ceremony. Whether I initiated it or not, doesn’t matter. They ended without observance.
So Yeats spoke to me this morning in that quote. My dreams feel a little stomped on and in need of a “rug doctor.” I need some love. I need some “atta boys.” I need some, “Ya done good and we’ll miss you.” I don’t know, just something that expresses, we won’t forget your part in this.