For ten years, I dreamed only. I saw in the shapes in the clouds a different world. The only people who hid, hid for fun. I saw in the patterns of the wood grain of floors a different reality. The only ones who were chased wanted secretly to be caught. I saw in the branches of trees mutual care and responsibility, and I saw in the mist off the grass in the morning the evaporation of the reasons to steal and harm, and I witnessed in the osprey carrying the trout the death of state and gender, the violent but calm overthrow of the racist and the class traitor. All of this I saw as if before my eyes, knowing it was playing in my head. This was the wrong kind of knowing.
For ten more years, I fought mostly. If something seemed wrong, it probably was, because most things were wrong. Action was always preferred, because if something needed correcting, the chances were better that it would be fixed with swift doing than delayed talk. Where I was then meant fists and batons, it meant by any means necessary, and it meant force must not only be returned redoubled, but must be anticipated and extinguished. There is less time for dreaming when wounds are healing, and even less than that when attempting to prevent wounds from opening at all.
For some years now, though, I have attempted a third way. The lessons of dreaming can seem only to apply to the dreamworld, but this is not the case. Good dreams, useful dreams, include coded instructions on how to realize the dreamworld. I shall never want for imagination again. The lessons of fighting can feel purely physical, tactile, and momentary, as all physical and tactile things are. This is not quite right either, and the real lessons of fighting are not revealed until the fight has gone out of us. That is when it becomes clear that whatever measure of resistance we can muster is often all that keeps the crush from compacting us from above. So the third way is imagining a better world and refusing to rest until it is realized. If that is unto death, then our last breaths will be drawn in refusal and released in acceptance. I will bring the fight to my dreams and my dreams to the fight, remembering forward to a world I hope to bring into existence. I choose this way for myself, my chosen family, and those who need and deserve this better world, which dances in my head and out through the tips of my fingers. Until then. Until.