Langston Hughes asked, “What happens to a dream deferred?” This is my reflection on that.
Aside from the economic and social dangers of pursuing artistic passions as professions, there is the question of whether one has anything of value to say. Especially when you’re 20, and Canadian, and middle-class, and white, and without trauma.
The thing is, if you don’t try your voice, if you don’t practice it, if you don’t test it and train it and let it out to play to see how it lives in the world, it shrivels like a grape into a raisin. It’s not pleasant to be shriveled—to grow rough and hard, destined to roll under large pieces of furniture and refrigerators to dry into a little stone.
Thankfully, you can be found and plumped up if given moisture. Rescue is possible. Maybe you’ll never be a grape again, definitely never a plum, but your sugars will have concentrated and you can make up for lost time in that way, might do much more with much less.