My Postponed Dream

While reading the poem, “My Family” by Garrison Keillor, I was deeply touched by the line, “Of dreams postponed and finally lost”. I read this line aloud time and again to understand the underlying pain in this line. I could picture an old man lamenting upon his decision in the past to set aside his dream and settle down before fulfilling his dream. Once we choose to push back our dreams, we can hardly get back to it in the future and often times it is lost. This is similar to the lost dream of John, the old man, in the poem.

While talking about postponed dreams, I remember the time right after my grade ten. I had around three months break before I could go to a higher secondary school. I thought about preserving all the memories of my grandmother, who used to share about her life before I was born. I thought of writing a biography about her, and I used to spend a lot of time listening to her past life. For me, her stories were very unique and I could clearly see the places, pictures, and events in front of my eyes as she used to describe them to me. So one day, I sat down to begin writing about her. I tore many pages and spent five whole hours trying to begin writing about her. Today, I regret for what I did after writing the first page spending five hours on it. I just pushed my notebook aside and thought I would continue it later. Time went on. I never opened the notebook or tried to continue writing. Now, I have forgotten many details of the stories she told me then. In addition, she is ninety-six year old and she has hard time remembering her past life. Even if she remembers, she mixes up one with the other. Thus, I thought that the poet was indirectly referring to me in that very line telling about postponed dreams.

However, after reading the poem, “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes, a spark of enlightenment ran inside me. I realized that our unfulfilled dreams are stored in our subconscious and they always seek outlet. This also alarmed me not to repress my dream for a longer period of time as it may explode someday. Thus, I plan to fulfill my dream that I had postponed many years back.

Response to “My Family”

 “My Family” by Garrison Keillor, is really one of the lovely poems I have ever read. The desires, hopes, dreams and sacrifices we make for our near and dear ones can be felt in this poem. As John had dream of going to Oregon, everyone dreams and hopes to be somewhere at one point of life. The happenings in John and Ruth’s life are a kind of practical in a sense that it happen in most of the people’s lives. Without dreams, life is worthless. It is never wrong to see dreams and have faith in the fulfillment of our dreams. But often, the people we love become our weakness or barrier in the way to achieve our goal. For instance in this poem, John wants to go to Oregon, but due to his wife’s tiredness they stopped their journey. As time passes, they are accustomed to the environment and the people there and Ruth also doesn’t show willingness to go to Oregon. The desire of John to reach and settle in Oregon remains only unfulfilled desire.  He sacrifices his dreams just for the sake of his wife. He has dreamt of this place where he wants to live and to be with his wife. His dreams are incomplete without Ruth’s presence. This shows how the people we love stop us from achieving our goal. Though not intentional, Ruth becomes barrier in John’s path to meet his dream.

After reading this poem I reminisced about my past when I had to sacrifice my dream for my loved ones. Though it is not a big issue but I guess it has great impact on me. While choosing my high school, all my school friends had decided to study in same college together. But due to some family matters, I couldn’t study with my friends in same college and they thought that I betrayed them. I extremely wanted to be with my school friends but family came in between. However, I am happy now because I got to know many other friends and my life wouldn’t have been like this if I was in any other colleges. While coming to AUW as well, the ones whom I love didn’t want me to let go. It was really difficult to make them ready to see me leaving them. I guess our dreams and our love always intersect each other and if one is chosen the other somehow is affected. Looking at myself today, I believe, I have taken the right decision. Though miles of distance are in between, our heart is still connected and I am heading towards my dream as well.   If I had chose to sacrifice my study that time, I wouldn’t have been as happier as I am today.  I am finally leading my way where I have a dream of being successful and being with my loved ones.

About Giving Up

            In the poem “My Family,” Garrison Keillor tells a story about his great-grandfather’s unfulfilled dream – move to Oregon, a place where there are mountains and oceans. Since Keillor’s great-grandmother was too tired to go there, his great-grandfather stopped traveling and kept his dream in the depth of his heart.

            Similar to Keillor’s great-grandfather, in the journey of our lives, we also have our own dreams and goals, some of which may relate to families, careers, or some achievements that can show the values of our lives. However, we can’t realize all the dreams we have since there are some limitations and obstacles on the way of our journey. Those restrictions can be so strong that we can’t pass them with our efforts; on the other hand, they also can be very weak in some way, but we are still willing to give our dreams up because of something else that is more important to us. For Keillor’s great-grandfather, I think that the more important thing to him was his wife. When his wife said stop, he could abandon her and continue his journey, but he didn’t; he chose to give up pursuing the dream of Oregon and hide it inside forever.     

            This poem reminds me a lesson taught by the headmaster of my high school. She told me that everyone will have to make some important choices in his or her life. For example, you need to choose which university to attend, the work to do, and the person to marry. “Since your life is very short, you are not able to fulfill all your dreams and hopes within 100 or mostly less than 100 years; however, you can choose some important ones and use your whole life to achieve them.” I still remember the look she had when she told me this. I understand that I won’t realize all my dreams, so I have to consider what is more important to me. On the journey of my life, I have gotten something, and I will continue to get more. Also, I have lost something, and I must lose something more in the future, as gaining is often accompanied by losing. Therefore, I may give up some dreams as what Keillor’s great-grandfather did. I hope the action of giving up can be worthy, and I won’t regret doing anything. I’m sure Keillor’s great-grandfather didn’t regret in the end, as he got his wife’s company, which was more valuable than the dream he gave up; in addition, it was also a reward for his giving up.