I was an introvert in high school. Likely as not, if there wasn’t a class going on, I’d be in the library. I daydreamed about reading every book in the room – starting from one end and proceeding all the way to the other. Of course I only made it through a relative smattering of the library contents, but it was a good effort.
I still remember my most hated book. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. A young woman moves to a small town after college, daydreaming about turning it into an idyllic Mayberry community. She finds the backward culture impossible to penetrate, and resigns herself to a life of dreariness.
I’ve always wanted to build that town. I daydream about a beautiful, charming community full of trees and culture – books and music – where everyone has a story worth writing, and those stories are all told. Where people eat dinner in the garden and the streets are lined with fruit trees.
I’ve seen snapshots of that town, a piece here and another there, as I travel the country. I believe if I could only piece them all together, they’d form a beautiful stained glass landscape; and I would share it with the world.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll gather stories – maybe a paragraph or a few pages each – of glimpses I see of that town, and I’ll publish them in a book.
This last century has been an era of growth: tragic growth. We stamped out communities – soulless chain stores, sprawling parking lots, and housing subdivisions. Our communities all look the same, and we fill that emptiness by distracting ourselves with pixelated, artificial connectedness.
But I believe there’s a real life under all this, if we just take the time to daydream a bit, connect with the living, breathing humans around us, and each try our hand at creating some new thing, however small.