German (n): a poet.
Unser leben ist kein Traum; aber es soll, und es vielleicht einer werden.
Our life is not a dream; but it should be, and perhaps will become one.
“Dichter” (German for “poet”) looks at the role of storytellers in our lives, who remind us of the wondrous world we’re surrounded by and of our purpose in the thick of it. Who has read a moving story and not seen the world differently afterward? Our words are powerful, and the narratives we purvey with our language and lives invariably leave a wake.
I’m reminded of a clip I saw of a movie-going audience at Avengers: Endgame. You can find many like it all over Youtube. Thanos is winning, and the Avengers are all but crushed. Thor is staring down his death. The survival of everything that has ever existed hangs by a thread, and the audience can feel the wrongness of it.
Then: Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer, rises. But instead of racing to its master, the ancient weapon speeds to the outstretched hand of Captain America, who wields it for the first time and gives evil a solid thirty seconds of pants-kicking.
The audience goes mad with joy, knowing this is right; encouraged and refreshed.
Those who conjure great images to freshen our perspective awake the dragons of our world, and they teach us the truth behind Novalis’ words: that though we may find ourselves in something less than a dream, that need not the final word. Will we rise to the occasion?
Incarnate insight, poet’s flight, walking stick and stave put world and welkin on display and conjure rain and wave. The peregrine, the journeyman, the seeker of the word in rivers and great wonders gives footing for the ford. Full-brimming bright with miracles, the world about us teems, and swarms with quiet musicals. Our lives may yet be dreams.