"I close my eyes, then I drift away, into the magic night I softly say. A silent prayer, like dreamers do, then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you."
~ Roy Orbison
I suppose it would be useful to explore how this dream of mine developed - look at the why's and when's. Regretfully, as many things are in my mind that involve the use of recollection, these memories are somewhat disjointed. If I work backwards from today, I arrive in the year 2007 for some reason....2007 rings a bell.
Where in the hell was I in 2007? I've moved so many damn times over the years that the memories all blur into one tragic apartment complex after another. I was living in Montreal, Quebec - attending grad school at McGill. However, neither Montreal or grad school had much to do with the dream, if I remember correctly that is. Four years ago, just over. I was 29 and, just for the record, I would love to be 29 again. 29 forever, perhaps. Alas....
My peaking interest in international development emerged during my bachelors degree in Halifax, NS, when I was a mere babe of 27. I studied The Culture of Capitalism for my sociology degree - a course that was way out of my league intellectually. The professor was a hard ass who demanded that you learn what he was teaching - simple memorization would not do. He was harsh and brilliant and most of the students thought he was a complete asshole. I shared this opinion, however, I also thought he was extremely intelligent so - to me - he was a genius asshole. A genius asshole who prompted me to think for the first time in my three year degree. I had to give him props for that.
It was in this course that I learned about the history of the development of the world, the emergence of the division between rich and poor, and the contributions "have countries" make towards "have-not countries" (and the ongoing efforts towards keeping them that way). It was a level of thinking that I had not yet been exposed to - or at least had never challenged myself to engage in. Regardless, it stirred up something inside of me that made me think of people living in far away places where the term "nothing" had an entirely different meaning.
I digress. I will apologize now for how frequently that will, for a fact, happen. Where was I again? 2007. In 2007, I was living in a run down apartment that was huge and creaky, with tall ceilings and high baseboards, a gas stove, and a cocaine dealer living across the hall. I affectionately (note sarcasm) called my landlord "the trailer park boy" whereas he bore a striking resemblance to "Ricky" off the Showcase Comedy "The Trailer Park Boys." This man would have been the 6 foot 4, 300 pound, francophone version of "Ricky." During the year I lived there, amongst the incessant noise of the streets of Montreal, coupled with the sounds of the man living above me (who I nicknamed "stompy") and the saxophone player who's music drifted through the windows in the summertime, I began to have a reoccurring dream. Less of a dream and more like flashes of images, I suppose. May be it was too loud to have a full-fledged dream.
Now, the rest of this is going to sound cliché, so you'll also have to forgive me for that. I'm simply telling how it happened....to my recollection, of course. The flashes of images comprised a scene where I was working with children, in a place where poverty was omnipresent and people were suffering. And I....I was helping. And the sun was hot and the ground cracked beneath my feet. And there were definitely elephants. And I was happy and at peace, which is not a feeling I am super accustomed to. And from this, I surmised this place was Africa. I said it was cliché.
If you've been reading my other blog entries, you can probably assume that I did not (and do not) think this was some divine intervention or calling from god or anything of that nature. I chose to believe it was the beginning of a seed that was planted in my brain that turned out to take just over four years to really start growing. I intend to write a fair bit about the journey that eventually lead me to actually plan a trip to Africa - a process that is going on right now and that will be happening in 11 months. It's a significant event and therefore, I think it qualifies.
And, I think that is brilliant.