Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Dreamer, you silly little dreamer....

Lately, I've been thinking about the fact that I'm a dreamer.  And when I do I think of that Supertramp song "Dreamer", or John Lennon's "Imagine", with its line "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." So, I will freely admit it: I'm a dreamer.

And I think you know what a dreamer is: it's someone who has goals and aspirations that are not always attainable or even realistic, but they dwell in them, or let those dreams seep into reality, as a way to make life appear better.  

I was always a dreamer, or even more specific, a day-dreamer.  I remember particularly 5th grade, in Mrs. Selberg's class at Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School, and all the times I'd drift off in class, suspended in a different reality through my daydreams.  My Bic pen became the long fuselage of a sleek supersonic aircraft, or the aerodynamic cars of a futuristic monorail.  As a kid I loved the British series "Thunderbirds", which was filled with absolutely impossible aerodynamic feats of engineering, plus dramatic scenarios that played out over the 60-minute episodes, in which the Tracy brothers of International Rescue saved the day! And even as an adult, "Star Trek: the Next Generation" caught my imaginative and dreamer's eye as a world where faster-than-light modernistic ships sailed through the galaxy, meeting all sorts of good and not-so-good events with flair and imagination.

Sometimes my wife comments to me about being a dreamer.  She says that both my brother Jim and I are dreamers, and I'd have to agree.  Jim and I have always had a "grass is greener on the other side of the fence" approach to life. Jim has had his moments of wanderlust (he traveled across the USA one summer during his college years), and I've had my trips around the western USA.  We both tend to "settle" somewhere practical, and live our lives vicariously through our dreams and fantasies.  And yet we both yearn to find "someplace else", as if a place or a state of mind will bring us closer to what we "dream" of as a new and preferred reality.  

I think we get this from our parents.  My mom, while I would never call her a dreamer, was never really satisfied with what she had.  That may have been because of her growing up during the Great Depression. For example, during the dozen or so years we lived in Glendale, there were two occasions when my mom had convinced my dad to look at and even make offers on different houses.  And even after being in San Clemente, in a very nice house with a big backyard, my mom still yearned for a "house on the hill" where she could have an ocean view.  My dad, a very practical and pragmatic man, lived his dreams by traveling around the western United States, first with his parents, then with my brothers and our family, and then with me.  As a voracious reader, he probably allowed his mind to transport him into the places he'd read about. He didn't have wanderlust: he was content to travel locally if that was all he could do.  So, while he was not a daydreamer like Jim and I, I'm sure he dreamed of better places.  

My wife's concern with my dreaming is that I dream of things that are just out of reach, like a house I'd like to have, or a boat, or a new car.  She feels that I allow these dreams or desires to consume my thoughts.  I'll plan for something that is not going to happen, or wish I could get such-and-so.  Her concern is that I get frustrated because I cannot attain that dream or desire as easy as I wish I could.  Perhaps she's right.  I tend to be a little more grounded these days (losing one's job is a tremendous eye-opener).  But I still like to dream. I still purchase a lottery ticket occasionally, hoping and wishing that we'll win big - or at least big enough so we can be secure financially.  

I guess I don't see the harm in dreaming, at least, not if I prevent it from becoming an obsession, and take up valuable time with the family in pursuing such a dream.  I do see some dreaming as healthy, especially if those dreams are for things that you CAN attain realistically with hard work or creativity.  We all need to have dreams or goals of reaching something - be it a new work position, or new artistic or physical activity - that will allow us to have a sense of balance in our lives. 

So, for me, I'm just a silly little dreamer....

Friday, July 04, 2014

An act of treason.....


They were doctors, lawyers, farmers, and in some cases, "gentlemen" (meaning they had land and no "occupation"). Some of them were highly educated, but some were barely able to write. Some were strongly in favor of independence from Great Britain. Some were fiercely loyal to His Majesty, King George. But they all knew that by signing the document, they were committing treason. 

And yet, they did it. They signed, and began the "great experiment" of freedom. It was truly a revolutionary thought for the time: to have a colony or colonies separate themselves from the mother country. But due to the oppressive tyranny of King George, and the myriad of taxes and other intrusions impressed upon the Colonies by the English Parliament, they had to commit this act of treason. 

Today, as we celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, let us not forget that sacrifice that those men made, for they truly gave of themselves, their lives, and their sacred honor.