Saturday, June 23, 2007

What Do You Want?

As I left work this evening (a little early because I worked through lunch, I was at a stopping point, and hey, it was Friday), I found myself asking myself the following question:

If I could have anything I wanted right now, what would it be?

It was one of those almost-random thoughts my brain throws at me when I'm tired; it doesn't necessarily mean anything, except in a very vague and general sense. Nevertheless, I decided to try to make sense of the question, and answer it.

First of all, what kind of "anything" did my subconscious have in mind? Anything to eat? Any situation? Any possession? Any goal? Any experience? Perhaps I meant all of them, so I started answering each of the variant questions:

Food? Not hungry right now, thanks.

Situation? There's always the world peace thing. But I also found myself wishing for an equally implausible, more personal situation, such as suddenly turning up in another world.

Possession? Well, a time machine, obviously, and a personal teleportation device (transmat).

Goal? Well, you know that one: Karen Funk Blocher, author of the bestselling Mâvarin books, the first of which she has adapted to screen as a major motion picture, coming soon to a theater near you! Yes, that's another world too, isn't it?

Experience? That's the big one. As I got in my car, I thought of a number of ways life could suddenly get more interesting, if the multiverse would only cooperate:
  • Driving home beneath a swirling pink sky
  • Having a conversation with a talking dog
  • Really, really meeting Kate and Ariel
  • Visiting Mâvarin
  • Meeting Walt Disney
  • Saving the world from some surprising menace, with the help of a mysterious stranger
  • Discovering I can do magic
See, I don't want much, just the impossible! I want to do something ever so much more interesting than making numbers add up, or watching DVDs, or even going to Disneyland. I want excitement, adventure and really wild things, but not the sort the real world has on offer. I'm never going to go to Guatemala with other St. Michael's parishioners, hike into remote villages and set up clinics. It's just not gonna happen. But I can handle chatting up a talking dog beneath a swirling pink sky, as long as neither one kills me or totals my car.

And it occurs to me that this is one of the main things fiction is for. We can't go around traveling in time or saving the world; at least, most of us can't. We can't meet a handsome and mysterious man on a windswept hill, or thwart the plans of Russian spies, or solve a murder that baffles the local police. But we can read about those things and experience them vicariously, in the safety of our own homes.

It's probably not that rare a dream, either, wanting outrageous adventures without sacrificing personal safety. I was thinking tonight about good old Del Merden, Rani's best friend. He's always been a sort of Tom Sawyer character, a teenager with an active imagination, a sense of adventure and a knack for getting into scrapes. But there's more to him than that. Sure he's bored with doing chores in his uncle's stable, but when he leaves home it's not just wanderlust. He wants to help Rani, and he wants to find the missing King. In short, he wants to do something that matters, to really make a difference in the world.

And what about you? What do you want? Tell me what Food, what Situation, what Possession, what Goal, what Experience would please you about now. Better yet, write it up in your blog and leave a link back here. Do you want a safe and comfortable life, or a dangerous and fantastic one? I really want to know!


typos fixed later, after 9+ hours of sleep!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh lots of food for thought in this post. Reading is a wonderful way to experience what we can/don't want to experience in our day to day lives.
I will be posting on it once I have thought it through.