Friday, March 30, 2012

Plans and Pipe-Dreams

So you get an idea: you want to do something new, try a different approach to things. You want to have something worthwhile to channel your energy, your passions into. Perhaps this new start can be that for you - new leaves, bright green sprouting from an upright branch; a dance among spring, flowers, blossoming. You want to grow, to do more than you are currently able to do. You want to be better. You want to do, to involve yourself with creative, impressive, fulfilling pursuits.

And so you have this idea, a spark of insight, the outlines of a plan, a course of action you could take to make it all come together. Or vaguer than that, a sketch in your mind still, this new opportunity, project, adventure...

And do you know, whether that flash of inspiration holds the seeds of a real, viable plan, or whether it is all a pipe dream? Mind games, escapist daydreams that flit across your mind because it is so much easier to get lost in perhaps perhaps and eventually than to deal with the difficult things right in front of you: that months-long fantasy, born of nothing more than a walk in front of an embassy, of running away to Australia...

Standing in front of a throne with a scepter of power in his hand, this man may be a king now, may have the power and the authority, but he never really did leave behind who he was: that knight, that dreamy-eyed, over-romantic knight. Still he focuses on the cup, his own self-indulgence rather than the larger picture. He drinks and enjoys the muddy-headed feeling as he ponders things he might do, project he might undertake, eventually, the things he might accomplish if he actually took this or that step...perhaps, perhaps...

Below, in his fields, with the castle where he takes his pleasure in view, simple people toil. They work and they work, force themselves through day after day of monotonous unrewarding labor. Does the king think of them? Does the King consider how his actions might effect others? Does the king account for those little details of reality in his grand plans?

And why do they stick to it, those people, day after day breaking their backs and see nothing for it? The same concept: the vague dream, the vague plans and ambitions - they too want something greater, something more. Perhaps if they work hard enough, are careful enough, are diligent enough, are good enough, perhaps they too will have a chance at those fresh young leaves sprouting up. Is this really possible? Is the system too skewed for them to have a chance at real success? Should they just give up then, collapse in the sun and refuse because why bother, why bother when nothing will ever change and they will grow old with age and still have nothing? Or is there that chance, if they, too, let themselves dream? Is there a difference between the dream-gaze into the bottom of a cup and the longing dream as you stare at the castle up there, in the distance?

Where exactly does the outline of a real plan end and the foggy edges of a pipe dream begin?


Carla said...

I don't know the answer to your question but I think I'm a little depressed now.

Not good for that mid-life crisis that has been slouching toward me for the last year or so! :D

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