A while back I was sat (maybe ‘lounging around’) listening to Broadcasting House…news with a difference (don’t let me fool you with apparent irony, I love everything Broadcasting House). Apparently the Lib Dems should have been shouting louder about what they accomplished. Not sure that this is such a good idea; shouting loudly about what they were going to do and then very publicly not doing it is what got them where they are now.
Of course, theirs is just a more public version of an individual problem (and not limited to only their party); dreaming about the way things are going to turn out and then acting as though the magical version were the real one. I do this all the time, I get lost in my imagination while walking or cycling or standing still talking to someone boring (ahem). It runs wild and I can do anything I want; travel the world, pull off daring stunts, get past the crux move, get paid to do a PhD, learn new languages, be loved passionately by someone who also lives in my world…it was when I was about fifteen that I noticed that when I wrote about these daydreams they started to become true. I hitch hiked across the country, met hippies and hikers and left red footprints in the Kokanee glacier. Was it the pen I was using? The notebook? Could I find a way to make the book last forever…maybe by writing smaller, being more careful with what I wrote? How truly powerful was this magic? Would this get me away from the prairies and off to the amazing world that awaited outside, populated by faeries and orcs and mythical kingdoms? It did! Castles, Ville, Mountains, Samurai, Dwarf (Italian) gold, they all rose up in my path and I continued to be amazed. Because Lawrence was right,
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” T.E. Lawrence
I was acting out my dreams, daring to believe that they could come true if I worked at them and then they did and it was (is) maravillosa. I travelled the world draped in gold, hobnobbed with sheikhs and millionaires, ate the best foods and drank the most tantalising wines. I left this 1001 nights world to study and was rewarded with distinctions and prizes and promises for the future. When doors closed, I climbed up to the window and serenaded those inside. But as all those who refuse to toe the line and accept the myth of happiness through ferocious commercialism, 9-5 and weekends spent washing the car will know, there is a price to pay. You call the attention of Olympus and scars will be left on body and soul, at times the dreams will seem to become nightmares and you shout out (false) promises to become happy with the mundane. Sepia seems attractive, friendly, nostalgic and warm (for a while). Sometimes morphine isn’t strong enough and the two minute timer between doses seems to stick somewhere near 1:59 but even then, while recuperating, a glimmer at the corner of your eye will start the mechanism up again. Golden cogs whirl into action and new plans incubate beneath the scar tissue. Recovery times slow down and may even take years, dreams change, and it becomes harder to trust your own judgement and the goodness of the world.
But then, whilst out running, an old man with a beard and twinkly eyes comes jogging towards you in Salwar Kameez. He smiles and tells you to “push through lady, push through”, so you do.
Every single time.
Not the same man, not the same scenario, but always the same message
“To dream anything that you want to dream, that’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits, that is the courage to succeed” Bernard Edmonds.
A new friend recently assumed that I am a thrill seeker (adrenaline junkie) because I enjoy mountain biking and travelling and climbing and running. I tried to explain that I am always aware of the risks (sometimes it feels that I am too aware), but the label had been firmly affixed. This post is the answer that I would have liked to have given right then. It is not thrills that I am seeking, it is life.
As for the Lib Dems…They attracted the attention of Zeus and are paying the price. They didn’t think through what would happen if they got their wishes (and maybe some of them were making different wishes to others?), but that is how these things work I’m afraid.