When I glance over at one of the countless small mountains I pass
while on the road, it seems mysterious and important. It seems as
if it might be a sacred place that holds an answer for me. If I
interrupt my trip and turn off to explore the mountain, the
closer I get to it, the more normal it looks. Eventually, when
I’m standing next to it, I realize it’s just a big
pile of dirt and stone. It’s dusty and dry. Occasional bits
of litter have blown in and collected in the less-windy spots.
It’s surrounded by fences put up by the various people who
own plots of land around it and probably have long-standing
disagreements with their neighbors.
The geological processes that continue to shape the mountain
might be interesting, but that’s probably because they
cannot be observed and must be imagined. Imagination provides its
own wonder and interest to anything it considers.
So many things in life are like that mountain.
Our imagination might be the most beautiful part of the world,
since it’s precisely when we imagine how things or people
might be that they take on that beauty.
Once we explore anything, once we get our first job, first love,
first anything, and we live with it for a while—once we
actually experience something on a daily basis—it becomes
normal, boring, dry, uninspiring, disappointing, and even
Nobody remains as mysterious as we had imagined him or her to be.
No endeavor satisfies us as we had imagined it would.
No secret seems worth preserving once we learn it. The keeping of
a secret is precisely the thing that gives it value. Call
something a secret, and everyone wants to know it. Try instead to
spread the word freely, and no one has time to listen.
We are all drawn to the wonders of our own imaginings. We are all
disappointed by reality.
Life is only beautiful while we imagine it to be.
quote and format by Raxin