The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Realism vs. Idealism?

I've never thought of myself as an idealist. The image of myself as a cynic has been hammered in to this skull since childhood, so no fairy tale endings, no perfect outcome, should phase my pragmatic line of thinking.
Recently, the manifestation of my own thoughts have begun, however, to bring my true desires to front; a hidden natural self, I've slowly determined, that is not just a fan of happy endings but an idealist to an almost flaming degree.
After facing my denial and attempting to work around this newer, more vulnerable mindset, I decided to relish in it. The first time I was able to wake and fantasize for a day of beauty and nostalgic perfection was inside of a city fairy tale-like in itself: San Francisco. Babyhood dreams of "where I'll arrive" all land somewhere between the Golden Gate and my hotel room's bay window; they are scattered along the rims of China Town and Pier 39, rolling head-first down Hyde's steep incline, arriving at the stoop of some mysterious shoreline publishing house. Yes, if I only lived here I would wake and feel like a queen on a hilly throne. If I lived here I would stay fit from vertical hikes and maintain balance by city grime and seascape scenery. If I lived here, I would sprawl in a palatial Victorian home with my live-in boyfriend and beagle puppy (who will age at a snail pace), and wind my old black and white camera as I snap each cable car, capture each moment. Hell, I'd even skip through a field of daisies, waving feverishly to smiling folk as they pass.
Such a wonderful existence, I daydreamed. In my giddy haze I even snuck on Craigslist to check bay area apartment prices, hoping to have my fantasy materialize, in a sense. Quite predictably, this was the task that yanked dreams of my roomy abode from their vortex and brought them down to level with the rest of the world. How can anyone afford this?
Gr, oh well. Hmm, come to think of it, my fantasy never included the sorrowful eyes of hungry people on bus stop corners, the fact that San Francisco spends $20 million a year on their "homeless problem". Nor did my avoidant mind venture to imagine global warming flooding my beautiful bay, raising its waters over three feet in the course of only decades. I want to do something to stop it, make the world recycle, stop driving, put everyone in a home (?) I want to do anything to save my fantasy. But is that a fantasy in and of itself?
I don't know. BUt if I fantasize around it, nothing can be done, that's for certain. This goes for all of us. Idealism isn't a terrible thing (hell, just listen to John Lennon), but dreaming can't clean up the world, realism can. Or maybe it's a mixture of both. I think most are aware we need to DO something, but time keeps slipping, y'all. Dream worlds are easier, reality bites, but a taste of both don't hurt sometimes. I will rest upon a conclusion one day...hmm...

Alison M.


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