“Men have always fashioned reveries out of sights and sounds, odors and memories. Indeed, reverie is such a common and even characteristic phenomenon of human nature that one may well wonder why it has not more often been the subject of scrutiny.” — Daniel Russell – preface to the book, The Poetics of Reverie by Gaston Bachelard
Before jumping off a cliff, it’s good to have some idea why you offer yourself up… to the unknown. And who says it’s unknown? A cliff is a cliff, right? And what does a cliff mean anyway? Metaphorically, it’s a statement of risk. Why take risks? Because there is something to be discovered.
I have always been fascinated by the reveries we create. The mindless images that float around us when we contemplate a change. Thinking of buy a new house? What comes to mind for you? The white picket fence? A super-modern condo? Maybe, something along the lines of the house you grew up in? Most of us will discard the reveries of another person – just an arbitrary preference. But what about our own reveries? On the cusp of a major change, don’t we spend a lot of time with the images that spontaneously come up of us? Personally, I have knock-down, drag-out fights with my imagery. “It’s going to look like King Kong,… No it’s going to look like Superman…. No, you’re both wrong, it can only be a modern-day Wonder Woman.” Images, don’t have to make sense, for them to have influence – and for better or for worse, the relationships we nurture are highly imagistic, magical, and imbued with a deep sense of love. How could it be otherwise? The first thing we are called to do is to love. Everything else takes a seat at the back.
The topic of “reverie” is highly maligned in America today. “Unproductive, impractical and so completely unempirical as to be considered almost immoral in a society oriented toward pure and sometimes mindless action.” The mindless part of that statement – another quote from the author above – is our unwillingness to even consider the impact of images, dreams, and everyday reverie. The title of my post today points to the critical importance of our reveries. How else can we take hold of current bearings and our future direction? Setting our sights is often called ‘visioning’ – a word has become a cliché, mostly because the sense of “reverie” has gone out of it. A vision is an image that calls forth action and is directly tied to its implementation. A reverie doesn’t care planning. A reverie cares only about expression. A reverie cares about the metaphorical contradictions that are actually greater than any plan. Setting our sights, our bearings and our future direction… always comes to us as a cliff — one that we must throw ourselves over. Not because we have a plan, but because something inside tells us we must. I hope you will join with me as I free fall for the next several months or years and the interesting thing about a reverie is that normal time is always distorted. Bon Appetite~!