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Photo of dawnWaking Possibilities

What are we to do with all our possibilities? Sadly, while many possibilities can be imagined, few can be realized. You'd have to be crazy to think otherwise. Only an idiot would try to pursue more than a handfull of possibilities. What this means, of course, is that I'm an insane idiot.

Now don't get me wrong. There's a lot I like about crazed idiocy, mornings especially. I wake slowly and the day seems infinite. I shower leisurely, considering this possibility and that. There seems no end to what I can do! My walking stick's outside the door. Who knows where the day will lead?

This morning my head was so full of possibilities that I had to write them down before they were forgotten, they were that numerous. I even gave this document a title - "Waking Possibilities" - a title that is both positive and negative, positive because I like the idea of waking to possibilities, negative because what seems possible on waking often seems fantastic when I am fully awake. (But not always!)

In other words, I started another list today. Already there are 11 projects listed, including the creation of this on-line rumination. But this is no ordinary list. Also on the list is an estimate of how much time and money it will take to accomplish each item. After just one day, my items total 132 hours!

The last time I kept a list like this, it reached 152 items estimated to take 2,357 hours at a cost of $29,234. That was depressing, especially when you realize that things take twice as long to accomplish as planned and cost twice as much. That was five years ago. Then I sold my house and moved to another state. That cut the list down to size!

The poet e.e. cummings has an early poem that ends with the line, "for every mile the feet go, the heart goes nine." I like that line a lot, but my guess is that the poet was off by a factor of ten or twenty. For every mile my feet go, my heart goes a hundred!

Washington Roebling, the engineer who designed and began construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, didn't say it as well but was more accurate. He said, “Man is after all a very finite being in his capacities and powers of doing actual work, but when it comes to planning, one mind can in a few hours think out enough work to keep a thousand men employed for years.”

That, I think, characterizes the dilemma faced by all of us, every day. Each of us, in a few minutes, can think out enough work to keep us busy for weeks. And woe to the person who has more imagination than most! Faced with that dilemma, how are we to be content or happy unless we have some sort of humility and can laugh at ourselves, some sense of forgiveness for all those things we have left undone?



All pages copyright 2000-2006 Danny N. Schweers