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By Midge Lyndee
Book Review 


The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment


January 11, 2023

Do you dream? Do you have a dream? These are actually two separate things. Some nights we have dreams and wake to remember them. They can be happy, sad, scary and dark or full of light and love.

Consciously, awake, we can also dream. We can dream of a better life, dream of finding love and happiness, dream of winning the lottery or an Olympic gold medal. Those dreams are purposeful hopes, building our desires like Lego bricks with layers of possibilities. The more plausible the hope, the more motivated the desire dreams can be created into reality.

Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't have an actual dream. But he had both a hope and desire for his children to be able to live equally in this world. He spent his life building layer after layer of pathways toward equal freedoms for all and he invited others to join him to bring these hopes into reality. During the month of January, Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dreams are remembered, honored and celebrated.

Did you know that some well known authors actually dreamed their story lines before writing their books down? E.B. White described the idea of Stuart Little coming to him in a dream while sleeping on a train in 1926. It must have stayed with him, as his book on the little mouse named Stuart was not published until 1945. Now considered a beloved children's classic, Stuart goes on a great adventure in search of his missing friend Margalo. The world is a big scary place, but friendship becomes more important than fear.

Mary Shelley ("Frankenstein"), Stephanie Meyer ("Twilight") and Colson Whitehead ("Zone One") had nightmares of monsters, vampires and zombies. What a night they must have had! But they managed to sort out their fears, or perhaps were drawn to them, and carve out some of our most engaging horror stories to date. Who doesn't sometimes want to be scared by the things that go bump in the night?

William Styron actually incorporated his dreams into the story line of "Sophie's Choice" as a tool to make his character face the most horrendous choice any person could make. "Sophie's Choice" becomes a story within a story as characters are led through the harsh realities that was the Holocaust. Readers are led to crawl around inside the thoughts and dreams of others, in an attempt of bringing light to darkness. It is questionable what success these characters manage. Such dreams created within absolute darkness are hard to shake.

From a more peaceful time, Linda Lee Ratto offers, "Where Dreams Come True." In Amish society, Sarah Miles starts her first day of school. The reader is taken to this simpler time, a slower paced life within a tight knit community. Sarah confronts her world, much like our own, where the disabled struggle to create an independence for themselves. She has hopes and dreams that she brings to her family, her community and the reader. If you are ready to leave the nightmares of zombies, vampires, walking dead and horrors of the Holocaust, enjoy this gem of a book, published in 2004 but still vitally poignant and relevant today.

Which brings me back to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dreams. King was an American Baptist minister. He was also an activist who walked straight into the controversies of the day, which included racism. The Civil Rights Movement revolved around him and his peace marches. He knew the dangers he was facing, from those who were not willing to concede freedoms to all men, but holding them for a smaller segment of society. King lived the nightmare of those times with grace, his wish being to bring about equality peacefully. He gave up his life for his dream.

We are all confronted with nightmares from time to time, and a world that sometimes is filled with more darkness than light. Fortunately it is not always life threatening, at least in reality. But choices are still very much found on a path full of rubble and debris. Our choices reflect where we find ourselves in difficult circumstances, what we are willing to accept and what we are willing to stand up to and fight for, in order to reach the destiny of our own desires.

Some people dream within realities, some dream in fantasies. King worked in a very real world, to bring a better life to his children and to every child. In our reality, the life we all live evolves through our own making. Our choices make us who we are in all the worlds created around us. Possibilities abound, most being better than fantasies if we are brave enough. Relinquish fears. Dream big!

Good Books.

Good reading.

*Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.


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