Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
+ + +
Love doesn’t come cheap, especially when your love lives four thousand miles away, across a mountain range and an ocean.
And yet geography is no impediment to true love. If I had to, I’d cross those mountains on foot and swim the ocean to be at your side. If there is a downside to modern love, it’s that these obstacles are too easily crossed. For if it wasn’t possible to get back again, I’d never have left you to come back here.
Being poor is now, as it always has been, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to making love work. It’s the tension it causes, the fear, the uncertainty, the sacrifice.
We grow older, we grow richer, our standard of living goes up. It’s how it’s supposed to work. It’s how it worked for you. It’s not how it worked for me.
Whether by choice, design or simply by fucking up, I find myself poor, and able to offer little to you but dreams. Beautiful dreams to be certain, dreams we both long to share, but untested dreams. To step into a dream with another wants faith, and faith is hard to find and hold onto. We’re taught from an early age to have faith in proven winners. And we’re taught that winning involves financial gain.
In our hearts we know it’s not true, but that knowledge is shaken when the sacrifice comes home to roost. When you find yourself in a new life, with a new person and
in our case, a person who most of the time is far, far away, it takes more faith to hold on than a person could reasonably ask another person to have.
Yet still I hope. I laid out my dream before you and invited you to come along.
There is no disguising poverty. It will be found out. There is no disguising the fact that you’re a dreamer, that the beautiful words that fall from your lips isn’t yet reality, but imagination and hope.
And still I did it, inviting rejection and even when it worked, the possibility of a long fall from grace. Because love is always a reach, a leap of faith into the unknown. I stand naked before you, all artifice and disguise stripped away. You’re the one person who can see my essence and in a heartbeat, take my hand or break my heart.
Only in you could I find that courage. It was a miracle we found each other.
And even more of a miracle when I took your offered hand, and find it slipped easily into my own.
Notes on the video … The silent film that pops up through out is D.W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms. It has nothing to do with the song really, though I can relate to Lillian Gish, who is utterly wonderful throughout, as she forces a smile, even on her deathbed.