“In Xanadu did Kublai Khan/ a stately pleasure dome decree/ where Alpha the sacred river ran/ through caverns measureless to man/ down to a sunless sea”
When I fall asleep I often wish I too could wake with such a mystic dream. But I’m not Coleridge. And I don’t use his magic dust. However, if you’re like me, you too would love to discover your very own Xanadu. Where…? Perhaps in those shrouded Tibetan highlands…or some Mediterranean island …or why not tucked inside the impenetrable forests that give Maine some of its magic.
Those are the charts you like to travel when young and immortal. Later you discover smaller maps which, like an uncovered Mozart manuscript, lie hidden in some attic of your mind. Xanadu is usually closer than you thought.
Why not at your next school reunion? Where years of dis-information on your part suddenly glow in the realization that — like Sally Fields receiving her surprise Oscar — “you really really like me!” Or maybe that soup kitchen where you volunteered? You find, much to your own surprise, the embers of your young passion for others still flares. Or what about how your fingers find on Facebook lives you thought were no longer on your itinerary? Such an unlikely venue for sleeping memories to come digitally alive with distant family, friends, students and colleagues whose voices now become a soaring chorus in your new Xanadu.
There’s that saying about old dogs and new tricks. You can’t stop becoming old. On the other hand, you can stop forgetting how to be young. Not “American Idol” young! Eager old-age young! Whose youth the young cannot possibly yet understand….
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