We all reserve it; it is there in the collected recesses for our solitary solace, to be taken out in emergencies, in times of downtrodden moodiness or imposed, deafening thoughtfulness; when the technological busy-ness of the world implodes and stirs the angst of our essence. It comes in different forms: “One day…”, “We can always…”, “If all else fails…” It may be an abandoned hotel on the roadside where we vacation. Or, perhaps it is an old penny, discolored and with the date faded, kept in a box under the bed. A painting by an unknown artist, of unknown origin, and undated. But those chains which we cannot see engulf us, and from the incessant warnings of naysayers of what we cannot do, as heavy burdens delimiting the universe of our imaginations, yet we perpetually leave behind the fine imprimatur of our youthful mind-flings. For, were it not that we reserved a crumb of insanity, we would indeed find that our sanity was unbearable; and were it not that we asserted our sanity, but for the insanity of our imaginations. But as time goes on, and old age and infirmity overwhelms us, the old abandoned hotel on the roadside decays into beetle dust and throngs of invisible termites. One day the roof collapses. The neon sign which flickered a hopeful glare in the reflection of the evening sun, now stands with rusted background. The once grand ballroom has been flooded over time, and when the reality of devastation overwhelms even the imagination, then dreams die, imaginations fade, and the human soul withers.
“Harry, my dear, should we have that penny appraised?”
“Never, my dear, for one day we may decide to sell it and retire into the sunset.”
Poor Maybelle. She had such a look of puzzlement. “But we’re retired, now…”
Harry gave a sly smile; a knowing look, a mischievous glint of youthful pleasure. “Never in our hearts, my love…never in our hearts.”
And so the penny must never pass beyond the test of imagination. And that abandoned hotel on the roadside? It is the fodder by which dreams are made of – to restore it one day, to bring it back to the days of ballroom dancing. Should one ever approach a banker with a business plan? Never! Not if you want your dreams to be squashed, rattled, crumpled and discarded.
And that painting hanging in the den – the one which has evoked curiosity, conversation, and child-like awe. Perhaps it was Picasso; or the granddaughter of your good friend. No matter; it is what dreams are made of.
Let not the human soul wither. Safeguard the jewel of one’s imagination.