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(Book XI)

Book XI
Book 11

Reader, I wonder if you have ever felt a feeling like the Dreamer’s. Imagine you wake up from a dream and you have no idea where you are. Imagine someone keeps telling you to stay awake, just like the Doctor tells me. Imagine she tells you there is no way to go back to your dreams, that things would be better if you just gave them up. Imagine she tells you that she knows what is best for you. I think you, too, would look for someone to share all your thoughts. Just like the Dreamer, you might look for your Echo.

Maybe everyone can understand this feeling. After all, we are all made of the same dreams. Deep down, at the heart, we all want the exact same thing: each one of us just wants to be happy. It seems like the easiest thing. So our sad story must have a happy ending, because the world is, at its heart, a happy place, isn’t it?

The Judge would have had to make a decision. I imagine what he said was simple and honest: "Dreamer, you have so many dreams. But these dreams are only the children of your feelings. And you cannot unconceive that which is born. You have clung to an Echo. And so you have chosen your world: reality. Dreams may not be undone, because they build on each other; they support their fractured frames. You must remain as you are. That is, you must remain as you wished."

The Judge said this, not unfeeling, but knowing that to disrespect dreams is impossible. Reader, consider that if we disregard one wish, one dream, how will we protect the rest?

"But I can help you," said the Judge. The Judge was a true friend. He gave the Dreamer a gift. "Even in reality now I will give you dreams. Whenever you need to, you can sleep. And in that sleep you can dream all you wish. When you wake up, you will always have your Echo."

The Dreamer wept, a happy cry; he was so relieved. In this flood of tears he again saw Echo. He embraced the watery image – if only in his dream.

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