A DANGEROUS DREAMER OF THE DAY

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TO S.A.

I Loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands

and wrote my will across the sky in stars

To earn you Freedom, the seven-pillared worthy house,

that your eyes might be shining for me

When we came.

Death seemed my servant on the road, till we were near

and saw you waiting:

When you smiled, and in sorrowful envy he outran me

and took you apart:

Into his quietness.

Love, the way-weary, groped to your body, our brief wage

ours for the moment

Before earth`s soft hand explored your shape, and the blind

worms grew fat upon

Your substance.

Men prayed me that I set our work, the inviolate house,

as a memory of you.

But for fit monument I shattered it, unfinished: and now

The little things creep out to patch themselves hovels

in the marred shadow

Of your gift.

~~ T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom ~~

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T.E. Lawrence was an enigma probably even to himself: his own emotions were often times strangers to their architect, the man who gave them the breath of life, and from which place they gratefully took wing in sundry directions from home. He was physically frail but mentally made of iron; his mind gave sanctuary to an endless landscape of emotions, ideas, passions and visions of where humanity had been, and where we should be, a mind fertile and rich in the loam of imagination and the dignity of mankind. As a medieval scholar, he was steeped in the chivalric ideal of personal honour: to do what is right, not that which is merely expedient in political terms. He fought for Arab freedom because he believed they deserved to be treated as, and to be given the dignity and respect that should be afforded every living human soul.

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Of course, politicians are not as ordinary people who believe in a morally just cause, or because of love of culture, people or place: they reneged on promises made to the Arabs after the defeat of the Ottoman Turks by Lawrence`s Arab guerilla force, simply because it was expedient to do so; promises made from the fog of political double speak are a mere illusion woven into a seemingly solid image of what could be. Lawrence and his Arabs wanted to believe they were fighting for freedom from foreign tyranny, and as such, dreams were used to place a shroud over the lies that were yet to be uncovered. Dreams are a secret place into which we can seek shelter from harsh reality, or gaze into a hoped for future. Dreams drove on Lawrence and his Arabs, and dreams were shattered into a billion fragments of disillusionment by the hard, frosted breath of the reality of political chicanery. It broke a man who had given his word, and spawned a modern world of endless terror and violence. Meanwhile the dream lives on………………

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All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.

~~ T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom ~~

Meanwhile, the dangerous man who had dreamed with open eyes, lies peacefully in a quiet country cemetery in deepest rural Dorset. I have been there to pay him a visit on a warm, balmy, English midsummer`s day, when it seemed I was the only person for miles around, so tranquil and isolated is the spot. At his funeral were all the great potentates of the world come to pay him homage; this quiet, unassuming man who had not dreamed equally as they rest of us mere mortals do; a man who had made his dreams flesh and bone, to change the future for the better; a man who`s dreams proved beyond the political minds of his day; so now we not only stare into the abyss, but it stares back at us. 

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