One day at a time, or imagination unleashed?
I am pondering two great truths today, two beliefs that are symbiotic in my life but also apparently in philosophical conflict.
Should I live for today, you know, “one day at a time”, or should I believe in the future. Hmmm…that’s a tough one.
All of the enlightened masters point to power of living for today.
“Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Buddha
Even songs exalt the beauty and necessity of living for today.
“There’s only us. There’s only this. Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way, no day but today.” Cast of Rent
I believe in my heart that I have to live for this moment. It is a waste pf precious time and energy to get lost in the good, the bad, and the ugly of yesterday, or to wait impatiently for the promise of tomorrow.
I also see the remarkable value of goals, and dreams, and excitement for the creative process. If I only lived for this moment I would do what was necessary for survival in this moment and this moment alone. What about the brilliant future I have planned? What about the novel I am creating?
“therin lies the rub.” William Shakespeare – Hamlet
You see, I am also of the mindset that to accomplish great things you have to have great thoughts, and a wicked imagination. The story of Alex and Lea, Rachel and Leo has been percolating in my imagination for over three years now, and living for today and today alone will not bring the words onto paper. I have to see the completed novel, which I do.
“By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” Franz Kafka
So what’s a writer with big dreams, living in the real world, supposed to do? For me, it’s simple. I embrace both. I try to squeeze as much juice out of today’s orange as I can, while working each day towards the goals I intend to manifest.
Big dreams have always been a way of life for me. Allow me to share a quick personal example before we get back to the story of MJWL:
In High School I was a pretty good athlete, and this talent translated into several local scholarship offers. For me the fear of spending another 4 years in the Northern part of the US (think cold, gray, long winters) superseded the idea of getting a solid education at a fraction of the cost. I wanted warmth, year round. So I did what any big dreamer would do. I researched Division 1 schools in the South that had the sport I wanted to play, selected the college I wanted to attend, and reached out to the coach at the University. I never once considered that it was not possible.
Besides believing in my dreams I also believe in the synchronicity of the Universe. It just so happened that this coach had recently lost his star athlete (who played my position)and was in desperate need of a solid replacement. Within days I was on a bus, taking a 28 hour ride to Florida in pursuit of a new reality. I tried out, signed some papers, and within 14 hours was on another bus back home with a scholarship offer in my hands.
I believed in the power of my dream, and backed it up with immediate action. Symbiotic.
OK, so back to the reason I am here…to share with you MJWL. Here’s an excerpt from the early part of Alex’s journey:
She was in the deepest, longest part of REM, peacefully dreaming of walking a chestnut brown horse down the beach. Barefoot and dressed in a white cotton sun dress, her companion bareback with halter and lead, they strolled silently down the coast, watching the sun begin its sizzling entry into the horizon. The waves gently caressed her ankles, and a salty breeze blew her blond, curly hair and the horse’s red mane in swirling crescendos.
Alex looked behind her at her steed, smiling at the simplicity of the moment. She didn’t know the mare, in fact, she knew she didn’t own a horse in her waking moments. Didn’t matter. The breathtaking beauty of the pure white blaze against the soft, chestnut forehead, with gentle, knowing eyes smiling in response to her gaze brought tranquility to her heart that superseded her sleeping brain’s need to make sense of her surroundings.
Alex dropped the lead and grabbed her chest as she felt one enormous heart beat slam against her ribcage. She waited anxiously for the next beat to sound, hoping to hear it but praying it would not be as malicious as the last. With trembling hands clutching her chest she looked into the eyes of the mare once more, hoping to find support, or even a measure of empathy to guide her through the moment.
Although it marked a difficult moment in her existence, Alex knew that it was not over for her. Her heart and soul still had places to go, connections to make, love to embrace. For you see, Alex, did, and always will…
Believe in forever.