Doing some research, this was in Lewis Carroll’s poem at the end of Through the Looking-Glass, beginning, “A Boat, beneath a sunny sky… “. I remember the line as in the children’s rhyme song that we were taught to sing in rounds. There we were, rowing our little boats (we hoped in the same direction), gently down the stream. Such is life, but not always downstream, is it? Being gentle helps, but always? And what if that downstream movement is toward a precipitous waterfall?
Is it merrily, merrily or verily, verily? We always sang merrily, so that would seem to correlate to the adage “Ignorance is bliss”, if we are rowing gently, and merrily, only to conclude that life is just a dream. Then what are we doing here in the first place? Is it practice?
Some would concur that, yes, it is practice. It is here where we stretch our wings, crash and burn, soar on the strengths of our finest hopes and aspirations, encourage others, learn and unlearn, begin and end, only to begin again. We can keep our one dream, stop and change to another dream, help someone else with their dream. But gently. And merrily.
Even when we don’t want to be.
“Life is but a Dream” is reprinted from The Hunting of the Snark and Other Poems and Verses. Lewis Carroll. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1903.
Read more at http://www.poetry-archive.com/c/life_is_but_a_dream.html#Ivg1CpMUis2IRkyR.99