I’m a bit overwhelmed this week. I wonder if any of you can relate? The tasks and expectations of the season blend with this year’s particular challenges, and there is much to juggle. I looked back to some old writing to see if there was anything that felt familiar, and my eye caught the file title, “dwell in possibility.”
I was wandering through the web-site of an architectural firm recently when I noticed the tag line on one of their home designs: “dwell in possibility.” The beach house design was quite charming and inviting, as you might imagine, but more intriguing to me was the message.
It foreshortens the first line of a poem by Emily Dickinson, “I Dwell in Possibility,” which, to be honest, I did not enjoy as much as the tag on the house!
The idea that every portal I cross might remind me to dwell in possibility was somehow very uplifting. To dwell in possibility might be to imagine an end to hunger and homelessness; to imagine a clean earth and atmosphere; to imagine peace. Dwelling in possibility might incline me to hope when reality might incline me to despair. In possibility I might find the impetus to act for change when otherwise I might settle into ambivalence.
If I paint the sign, will you put it over your door as well?
I wrote this in 2004. I can’t remember what the politics of the day were, only that we were managing the tensions of what we wanted the world to be as opposed to what the world was, as we are now.
To dwell in possibility is a particular kind of hope, an active hope, a defiant hope. Yes. I choose to live there. And you?