Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? or fester like a sore- and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
This slightly dark poem by Langston Hughes is something that has had special meaning for me many years now. I remember hearing it in a Nike commercial after a less than remarkable performance at a track meet back when I was first getting serious about track and field. Being young and relatively new to the sport, I had grown accustomed to improving every single time I stepped on the runway. To set a goal and fail to reach it was a pretty new and devastating thing to me at that point. The commercial spoke to me and struck a certain chord in my heart - it gave me hope. I wrote the poem down in a notebook and have gone back to it many disappointing performances since.
What speaks to me about this poem is what it says about an unattained dream. It does not simply disappear – it evolves. It endures, it changes, but it never dies. An unattained dream stays with you and patiently waits to be realized. When that dream does come true, it’s never the same dream it was in the beginning. Like so many things in life, it has changed with time. Throughout the years, I have told myself that the explosion is coming. A dream that is failed to be met is simply a dream deferred – something put off for some later time.
I’m so grateful that this weekend my dream deferred exploded.
Stay tuned for another post this week about my final CIS Championships!