One of my all time favorite books is The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille. It’s just a fiction novel, no deeper meaning or anything, but there the story telling, dialog etc. are fantastic. It’s been (guessing here) nearly 20 years since I read the book, but when I found out that there was a sequel coming out it was must re-read.
Once I started it didn’t take me long to re-discover what I loved about this book. Like all good books, it is laden with insight and despite being “just a fiction novel”, if you allow it to be, it is so much more.
The following passage I am, willingly and with malice of forethought, taking out of context. In it’s original context t is part of an erotic scene involving horseback riding, but, in my opinion, it can be extrapolated and lent far deeper meaning.
Yet, I believe that marriages entirely grounded in reality are bound to fail, just as individuals who cannot escape into flights of fancy are bound to crack up.
This concept is something that I have clung to my entire life. Some people talk about their inner child, some people talk about never growing up, and others simply talking about keeping hope alive but in one form or another, I think everyone knows what the author is discussing here.
To live a truly satisfying life, a person has to have some optimism, they have to have dreams. When I say dreams I am talking about things more lofty than goals, I’m referring to the “shoot for the stars” type of dreams that are not guaranteed (or perhaps even likely) to come true.
It is certainly not possible for someone to be a 17th century baron, receiving “gratitude” for passing a message on to the king (oh wait, I wasn’t going to go into detail… oops), however imagining this and other possibilities, and even acting them out is part of staying “young at heart” and, as Mr. DeMille so adroitly points out, a great mechanism for maintaining your sanity.
I’m not suggesting you grab a partner, a horse and go for a ride (of course, I’m not suggesting you don’t either ), nor am I suggesting escaping entirely into fantasy, however, a little dreaming mixed into your reality is a good thing. I think I’ll go fantasize about how I’m going to spend my lottery winnings…