“Poetry demands imagination and with that imagination, we may discover a dream.” I heard Peter O'Toole say those immortal words when I watched Man of La Mancha and they've always stuck with me. For those that have never heard of the musical, read the novel or seen the movie, it's about the author Miguel De Cervantes when he was imprisoned during the Spanish Inquisition and he tells the story of Don Quixote in order to keep the prisoners from burning his work. Don Quixote is a sick, elderly man that dresses in antique armor and goes on a quest to defeat evil. I've always loved the story because of how it shows the power that comes from dreams.
Pursuing my dream of being an author/writer, it's an extremely difficult task and it requires a lot of my free time. This is my way of saying that I don't get out much and when I do go out, I see people always over doing it. They're making stupid decisions, getting in trouble and taking risks that can end their life before it really begins. When asked why they would do something like that, they all have the same answer for the same question. “I have to live life because it's the only life that we're going to have.” While I respect this point of view, I have to humbly disagree.
One of the greatest gifts humans beings can have is an imagination. These people live life because it's all they have, I live my life because of what it can be. In my parents lifetime, they have come from seeing segregation to an African-American president, Wars, Peace, and advancements in various fields such as medicines, technologies and explorations. We've broken barriers, pushed human restrictions to new limits and expanded our understanding of the universe. Everything accomplished because people had an imagination and dedicated themselves to turning it into reality.
I can only imagine what the future holds for me and I hope one day that my work will contribute to mankind's progression. In the tale of Don Quixote, his delusions helped two people by the names of Sancho and Aldonza see past their realities. It helped them cope with the fact that Sancho had never really done anything in his life until he decided to join Don Quixote on his adventure. Aldonza also benefited because she saw herself as a person in the end, not just some prostitute meant to be someone's toy every night. That's the power of the dream.
This is why I choose to live my life, I want to contribute something that will help people see things in other ways except reality because let's face it. Reality really sucks sometimes for a lot of people, if it didn't then we wouldn't need escapes like bars, books, clubs, movies, and video games. At the end of the film, Peter O'Toole says to the prisoners, “God help us all. We are all men of La Mancha.” I have to say that I consider myself a modern man of La Mancha. I say that because I'm only self published right now and I may not have an agent or a publisher, but I'll never give up on the impossible dream.