Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Changes...

I mentioned a little about this in the last post, but, since it’s all still fresh in my mind I thought I’d ramble on a little about the changes life seems to always have in store for us. How I believe that dreams, hopes, imagination are tools that help us cope and adapt to everything that comes our way.

I have a good friend that once said to me that ‘hope’ was one of the worst of all things the human mind is capable of. I discussed (ok argued) that with him (as was our normal inclination) for some time, as I see hope as one of the greatest things our minds produce. In the end neither of us changed our minds, and as with many ‘items’ between good friends it just became one of those things we agreed to disagree on.

I still think that hope; dreams really, are the root of everything wonderful we enjoy in our lives today. Cars, electric lights, movies, stereos, televisions, you name it, if it didn’t exist in nature, someone dreamed it up, and then made that dream real.

Webster’s delineates between hope, dream and imagine by adding ‘expectation’, that hope is aspiration with expectation of achievement. I don’t see that line… to me, to dream without anticipation, belief, or expectation of achievement, would be a very empty endeavor. To dream, big dreams, without ‘hope’ of attainment, where’s the fun in that?

Two of my favorite historical people are Edison and Einstein, and not necessarily in that order! In reading about them, these two men shared one important trait. They were dreamers, they dared to imagine. Both dreamed, imagined, what were thought of as impossible dreams by the folks in their own era. Edison spent years developing an electric light bulb, for a world that did not yet have electricity in most buildings. An item that once he’d perfected it, he gave away to government agencies as no one saw the ‘need’ for it. If I was trying to do that today, people would say I was crazy.

Maybe he was a little, crazy, by conventional standards at least. I contend the world needs more, not less, folks who are ‘Edison’ and ‘Einstein’ crazy.

Both Einstein, and Edison, believed that if your mind can conceive something, it is also therefore, something you can achieve. That it’s impossible for our minds to ‘dream up’ or imagine anything, and allow us to believe it, that we can’t actualize. That’s why I believe in ‘hope’… to me, hope is just another form, an extension, of dreaming… when people say they ‘hope’ something will happen, it means (to me anyway) that they’re dreaming of it… imagining... they’re visualizing it, becoming real, in their mind.

How is that different than Edison dreaming of an electric light bulb, or Einstein imagining the theory of relativity? Remember, Einstein said he “knew” or believed the theory to be true long before he could prove it… his dreams told him it was that way and he ‘believed’. What if he hadn't believed, expected, he could solve the riddle? Or Edison for that matter?

Einstein once said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. When I read that, I believe that what he meant was that knowledge doesn’t create anything new… imagination, dreaming does. It’s when we dream, and believe in those dreams that we find the strength to pursue them.

So yeah, I let go of a dream on Sunday, the ‘Beast’ as one of my friends called it, is gone. It was a beast, of sorts, in a couple ways, although I’m not sure if he knew that. It was a beast of an automobile for sure, 2500 pounds of snarling, thumping, snorting, asphalt ripping, tire shredding, white knuckle inducing beast for certain… what the dream held back… that was a beast as well, one of those beasts that dwell within, in places we rarely go because the memories tear at the fabric of the reality of today… so different, so distant, yet so tangible and real.

I actually realized yesterday, as the car was leaving, that so was that ‘beast’, the one I’ve kept caged, locked away. I could feel it leave, like dropping a heavy bag, a gust of wind on your back, the splash of water on your face in the morning. Transient it was, yet palatable all the same. As that car slipped over the hill, I swear I could feel the cords that bound us snap, and the beast was really gone.

As I walked out the door this morning, headed to work, for the first time in 10 years it wasn’t there. I didn’t even miss it.

I’m working on a new dream now, not sure where it’s going to take root, or what it will be, but the wheels are turning that’s for certain. It may be another shop project; it may be that back yard patio... well not a ‘patio’ more of an outdoor conversation, relaxation, enjoy the day kind of thing with a covered gazebo at one end so we can enjoy it even if it rains… or maybe, just maybe, I’ll find the muse and get back to work on the book, I still don’t know.

Once again, thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments and reactions.

8 comments:

Karyn Lyndon said...

You forgot to mention "ice-cold beer-drinking" when you described your patio. Come on, you know that's what you're going to do with it...

BTW (by the way) what's your book about and how many pages have you written so far?

Firehawk said...

Bill,

Hope is vital, but people who hope for things they know won't happen...that's where it gets poisonous. I think your friend was talking about that kind of hope. Concieving of something and then working to forge it out of nothing is the idea this whole country was founded on. Hoping in an idle and forlorn way for something to come to pass via a "miracle" or luck is something that captures people and turns their world to crap. It's these doomed hopes bereft of the energy to ever come true or the real knowledge that they could be, should be...these hopes are like anchor chains across a person's shoulders, because they're just self-deception. When you've known people whose whole stock in trade is talk and wishes for BS moments that won't ever come, I can see how you'd have the sentiment your friend did.

The feeling of really letting go of something that doesn't fit, doesn't work, or is just out of date with the you, version 5.3, can be a huge relief. I hope you have a burst of energy to do something great.

Spirit Of Owl said...

Sadly, Einstein died a miserably disheartened man because, firstly, he knew that he would never achieve his dream of formulating a unifying theory, and, perhaps worse, he was distraught at the way other people had dreamed to use his atomic theory.

I'd suggest that hopes and dreams are double-edged, so, perhaps, you and your friend are both describing different sides of the same coin.

Thanks for sharing a thought provoking, intriguing post.

RealLady said...

Wow! what a great article! glad I could assist in the creation of it! Keep up the writing sweetie! I love how your words dance across the page as I read...forming a path to travel while you experience your dreams!

No_Newz said...

I'm with you all the way. I'm glad you didn't miss the beast and now have sights set on a new dream.
Lois Lane

Stranger Ken said...

Is it possible that there is a sense in which imagination is an expression of or response to one's wonderment at the world and therefore a part at least of the foundation of faith - although in what is a more difficult question? Francis Bacon defined wonder as the foundation of faith.

Bill said...

Karyn: I was wondering if you'd notice that! I figured those who know me, would know it didn't need sayin'. :) The book, a fictional novel about Cyber-terrorism, and about 100 pages.

Firehawk: I was actually thinking more about this after I posted it and I'm working on an expansion of my thoughts here.. in fact I'm quoting you in it.

Spirit of Owl: You're welcome, and thanks for stopping by. If you liked this, I hope you'll like what I'm working next... along the same lines and I'll talk a little about what you've said as well.

RealLady: You are and continue to be a great source of inspiration to me... thanks!

Lois: Always nice to see you! Stop back, there's more on this.

Ken: "part at least of the foundation of faith" I think so, and not exclusively in a religious sense, but belief, faith in the possibilities, I think.

Thanks to all of you, that you take the time to comment means a great deal to me.

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Hope is faith in the unseen. Dreams can sometimes never be realized, hope is forever and keeps us moving.

Sounds like your buddy needs to get laid. ~grin~