Sunday, September 28, 2014

I See... Living the Dream

Many of us superficially entertain visions of grandeur and acceptable excess in our futures, but we don’t often get chances to live it- to live the dream.  How sad would it be if we were accidentally living the dream, without actually knowing we were in it? The Mormon Third Eye arrived at the terrible realization a few weeks ago that this was happening to him.

I grew up in a house 40-odd years ago where food was carefully rationed, especially sweets. Our collective teeth were so bad that we kept a dentist on retainer; I wouldn’t be surprised if mom was still making payments on us when she passed away earlier this year. Hence, as I rambled every weekday afternoon through the slimy streets of suburban Livermore slinging newspapers across lawns mined with bushes and other assorted obstacles, my mind would wander into comfortable daydreams of limitless desirable consumables. It was here I developed my love for chocolate- in my dreams. Unfortunately, that’s where it had to stay, because except for the occasional splurge at our local variety store when candy bars were on sale, or a treasured visit to the penny candy store in Richfield UT. during summer vacations visiting Grandma Ward, I would never control enough resources in my youth to quench my insatiable thirst for  chocolate.

I was prepared to accept my fate until chocolate dreams were perpetually planted in my psyche by the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” We all have seminal moments that make permanent marks in our personal history. I remember opening my mission call, the day I married the wife of my eternities, the moment of both of our children’s arrival to our family, and what I was doing when the twin towers fell in New York City. And I vividly remember the first time I watched that movie.

Willy Wonka’s and Charlie Bucket’s make-believe world included endless supplies of chocolate in various shapes and sizes; edible chocolate flowers, chocolate brownie dirt, and a chocolate milk river were my favorites. My imagination was permanently altered by the experience. I now had visual cues to accompany my obtuse fantasies of infinite chocolate. I was in pretend heaven, and could return anytime I wanted to in my mind, now that I knew what it could look like. Willy Wonka would keep the dream alive. (you can read more about my love affair with chocolate here.)

Or so I thought. Flash forward 40 years later to the present. 30 years of marriage family, work, home, church service; of unexpected joys and unwanted sorrows, barbeques and broken toys, and yes, even a little chocolate along the way.  A lot of water had flowed under my bridge of life, and underneath it all was buried my wild chocolate fantasies.

Last week I was relaxing on the back porch curled up with a favorite kindle book and a cool North Carolina autumn sunset.  I was enjoying some chocolate truffles so rich and thick with flavor that I couldn’t take another bite; I was satisfied.  At that moment, an uninvited but welcome memory returned- unfulfilled desires for chocolate.  But now I was satisfied; I had eaten enough. I further realized that I had more than enough money in my bank account to purchase all the chocolate I could ever hope to eat. 

I am now living the dream. Are you? 

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