This shop window in Oslo caught my eye one evening in Oslo. (The “Live Your Dream” text was actually stencilled on the shutter.)
“Live your dreams” is so easy to say it has become a meaningless insipid throwaway. It is even more hollow and fake when used as an advertising slogan.
Nonetheless this is an image that speaks volumes.
The security shutter:
Many people can’t get at their dreams. They lack the knowhow. They have grown up and away from their dreams. Or they are prevented from accessing their dreams by internal factors (eg self esteem) and/or external mechanisms (eg societal rules.)
Some would try and get through the sheets. Others may give up and learn to just walk past their dreams.
Many dreams are imposed (or at least influenced) by outside sources like mass media. Influences that are two-dimensional and super-saturated with too-good-to-be-true promises. Unattainable and unrealistic looks, wealth and fame. Narrow destructive and exclusive definitions of success and personal value. Endless list of expensive, must-have things.
Even if we do get through the shutters, we may find that what we had always thought of as our dreams is actually not ours! We expend great resource, the limited time we have on earth, to chase dreams manufactured by industry!
The indistinct cartons:
It can be incredibly hard to be clear about what our dreams are, let alone how to get there. Working to distill clarity is not really a life skill taught at many schools or in many cultures.
A lot of people buy in to the dream of the perfect white wedding. But they don’t think through the detailed implications. Nor do they consider whether it is something they, as the individuals they are, actually want. It may be a black gothic wedding. It may not even be a wedding!
The indistinct cartons also point to that vague (and sometimes not so vague) sense of lack, of not being or having enough. “If only we have these things/traits we would be happier…” But we don’t spend the effort to get clear on what these are. And whether they are relevant to us as individuals.
The other stuff:
Dreams also seemed inevitably connected with the acquisition of possessions/stuff. The Australian Dream, like the American Dream, is primarily centred around the possession of property, including the right spouse and children!