We all seem to be in the same boat these days.
We have no patience, too many worries, no time, but too many tasks to do. We have to be in four places at once – some days before lunch. Add an illness, a loss, any kind of major upheaval, and you start wondering how you’re going to spend the next minute. So let “Gently Down This Dream,” by Hugh and Gayle Prather, help you find a way to make it easier for you.
Hugh and Gayle Prather are life and writing collaborators who create books together: he writes first, she fixes mistakes.
She had finished the manuscript of the book and “we laughed at the changes … and thought we would continue to do so for years to come. Hugh died the next day.”
How do you recover from something like that? Hugh Prather knew the secret.
Just because you’re “gently steering your boat down the river,” he says, “doesn’t mean you’re … in control of the scenery.” What helps is having peace, which “allows us to be gentler” to deal with” problem. You can’t say for sure “the harsher aspects of life,” but “if we seek the divine,” it ends up feeling like “a river of peace.”
Remember that you can do “almost anything” with love, and it’s an act of kindness to silently bless a stranger instead of getting mad at them. Don’t force happiness; it just creates inner conflict. Forget about controlling anyone; it destroys “any peace you have”. Learn to enjoy the years and wisdom you have accumulated. Leave behind those things that do not give you peace. Remember, a church is a building that “should just be a guide”. Protect your calm and add it to as many situations as you want.
Finally, “Take the path of grandeur. Decide to be as great and whole and happy as you were created to be.” Remember you are loved.
Sound a little new age? Yes, but your level of awareness will depend on the spiritual journey you seek or the situation you are trying to deal with. You may find it novel, but you may also feel that “gently laying this dream down” is what today’s readers crave.
The difference is attitude: this book is not for a quick lesson, but for your entire and ongoing lifelong transformation from a troubled you to a peaceful you.
In fact, writers Gail Prather and the late Hugh Prather are sympathetic to life in today’s society, with its strange strangers, traffic jams, rude co-workers and savage pets. Sometimes there’s humor in their words and a constant, gentle reminder that it’s perfectly okay to go backwards, that it’s a process, not an immediate requirement.
That alone was immediately, powerfully comforting.
“Gently Down This Dream” may not change your 21st century life right away, but it’s worth carrying around to help you get through the day one at a time. Tuck it into your briefcase, car, or desk for a smoother ride.
“Gently Letting This Dream Go: Notes on My Abrupt Leaving” by Hugh & Gayle Prather
Circa 2023, New World Library. $17.95. 248 pages.