I have a writers’ inspirational book at home which I picked up from a second hand book stall at the Marymass Fair in August. The author sets little exercises every so often with the aim of provoking the creative juices. One of them was about writing down your dreams. Writers should be writing and she suggested that one source of inspiration can be your dream life. It is not with the aim of digging out a dictionary and analysing them, just describing them, to practice your writing skills.
I confess to being a dreamer – a very vivid dreamer. Sometimes I can trace the source of the dream, other times it is a mystery!
Last night I was dreaming about a memorial or a monument. It was built beside a church. I didn’t recognise the church. Along the side of the wall of the church was like a series of neon tubes, various sizes and thickness, much like a church organ that cast a gentle white glow over the sculpture below. The sculpture was a table. It was rectangular, and one end had an empty seat. The other seats were filled with children. I got the impression that they were from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. They were all laughing and smiling. I once knew a wee boy, Peter Petra, about two years old, who had not yet mastered the art of talking properly. He used to tell these awesome stories in gobble-de-gook complete with wild hand gestures! These children reminded me of him. It was very lively and full of fun, open and inviting. I don’t remember seeing any food on the table but there were words carved into the table – love, justice, peace, joy – those kind of words. The light spilled down from the neon tubes.
I knew that the empty seat was about providing a space for the presence of Jesus, but was also aware that other people had come up with their own reason why it was there. Some said that the empty seat was a reminder that some children had died in needless wars and the seat was empty because that shouldn’t happen. Other people said that the empty seat was to remind us that there should always be space for more. We should always be ready to invite new people into our friendship groups and never exclude anyone.
I wish I was an artist – I would draw a picture of it. I wish I was a sculptor. I know I can try to paint a picture with words -–but words fail to convey the mood that the monument evoked.
The world we leave behind, is the world that the next generation of people will have to inherit. A world where people laugh and smile, and where peace and love are carved into people’s hearts – only Jesus can create that kind of world.