Saving room for the other kind of romance
The other day I began Figuring by Maria Popova. Several passages have already captivated me but one in particular has been on my mind and wanting to write about but have struggled on what I want to say about it. It comes from an author I’d never heard of, Ray Bradbury, whose work left him in the company of astronomers Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke in the sixties. Bradbury wrote of their conversations and plans around space travel and exploring the universe, "It’s part of the nature of man to start with romance and build to a reality.” The word romance is often used to discuss feelings two people have but I want to offer up this definition, “a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life.” To be a romantic is to dream in ways big, strange, abstract and unconstrained by the realities of life.
Building a better community and making a positive impact is something I think about often and is easy to become frustrated by when it doesn’t happen or the path to do so feels obscured. What I’m left reflecting on as my 37th year descends upon me is ideas often take a long time to sort through and require a lot of unbridled dreaming to explore how they might work and not as opposed to filling them with constraints from day one.
I can at times feel creeping cynicism and bitterness in moments as I age and while I do not wish to be the completely unmoored idealist I was in my younger years I see some of that fire as important to retain in order to keep going.