To Dream in Daylight

 

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 dream with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        T.E. LAWRENCE

 

He was Thomas Edward Lawrence, ‘of Arabia’, but he was so much more than the white-robed avenging angel of the desert. Denigrated by his enemies as a strange, reclusive neurotic, a liar, a fantasist, an iconoclast, an imperialist, a deviant, a megalomaniac and a poseur with a gift for self-promotion, craving the limelight while appearing to shun and scorn it: a man who, when he believed his life’s mission had failed, effaced himself and his identity, re-emerging under a new name and in the lowest rank of another branch of the armed forces as a form of masochistic atonement.

Was he just a legend in his own mind?

Far from it. A hundred years later his vision, his dream, and the complexities of his nature still intrigue us endlessly. His sexuality remains a mystery, and this is entirely appropriate: his private life is not our business and he harmed no one by it, except, possibly, himself. Portrayed as a misogynistic loner, he was in fact a beloved son and brother, and remembered by his many friends, male and female, as  devoted, generous, loyal, courteous, gentle and sweet-natured. Portrayed as an insubordinate and unconventional soldier, he was an inspired military genius; a master of guerrilla warfare whose tactics are still studied and implemented today; a strategist who envisioned and strove for a Middle East where tribal and cultural identities were respected and natural resources equitably distributed, and where Muslims, Jews and Christians could co-exist in peace. Physically and morally courageous, he led fearlessly in action, never requiring others to do what he would not do himself. In diplomacy he remained indefatigable, unintimidated by rank, privilege, power or prejudice, and advising from hard-won personal experience.

Scholar, archaeologist, polyglot, inventor, visionary, builder of bridges between cultures, he had a dream. Embraced it, believed in it, risked his life repeatedly for it, spoke his truths, and dared everything for them.

He dared to dream in daylight, with his eyes open. Fearlessly, passionately.

I, too, dare to dream in daylight. To speak my truths and live by them. To devote myself to them. To transcend depression and self-doubt. To follow passion, not convention.

To pursue the dream.