Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pie in the Sky**

While it's true that I've engaged in some serious pruning when it comes to lifetime ambitions, I do still have a very active fantasy life that I refer to affectionately as my tendency toward the IFs. If I won the lottery is a favorite (though that isn't likely to happen anytime soon since I've never bought a ticket). Part of my lottery fantasy has to do with anonymously depositing lots of money into the bank accounts of my family and dearest friends. When they call to tell me about it, I pretend that I am also a recipient of this anonymous donor. We all live happily ever after.

The next part of the fantasy has to do with philanthropic investments. I give away millions to organizations like the Potomac River Conservancy and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. One of the things I do with the money I allot to myself is move to Paris and enroll in culinary school. I would really love to do that - well - all of it but especially the part about Paris and culinary school. Oh yeah!!

Some IF scenarios are less extravagant. I somehow make the laptop people disappear from Peregrine Espresso, for instance. I have nothing against the laptop people, I should say. I don't blame them for wanting to sit in the cafe while they work or whatever it is they're doing, but when they take up every table, all of them facing the windows at the front of the shop, I feel like I'm having coffee in an office. It feels like everyone should have a taupe colored cubicle, and that there should be a copy machine in the back of the shop. It isn't nearly as much fun as having coffee in a nice cafe.

Some fantasies are way more extravagant than the lottery scenario. Like: I completely overhaul health care (NOT the insurance industry, I mean the way health care is thought of and administered) to include what is now thought of as "complementary care." U.S. citizens are allotted a certain amount of free access to acupuncturists, massage therapists, psychotherapists, homeopaths and osteopaths. The practitioners are richly compensated for this work. What we now call "mainstream" or "western" medicine is seen as emergency medicine in my brave new healthcare world. The ongoing upkeep of good health is turned over to what is now seen as the complementary care practitioners.

Fast food restaurants suddenly disappear, along with high-fructose corn syrup and transfat. Industrial farming of animals and plants is replaced by sustainable, humane farms run by good people. Americans let go of their obsession with weight and instead focus on good health and good spirits. Everyone meditates in the morning. Etc. Etc. Etc.

You see? My personal ambitions have faded over time, but my imagination? My capacity to think of what a perfect world would look like? As I grow older, that capacity just keeps expanding.

And now ... back to reality! Which is, on this chilly, sunlit day in Washington DC, not bad, not bad at all. Life, though imperfect, is good and I am grateful. Oh yeah.

**A promise of heaven, while continuing to suffer in this life.

This is an American phrase and was coined by Joe Hill in 1911. Hill was a Swedish-born itinerant labourer who migrated to the USA in 1902. He was a leading light of the radical labour organisation The Industrial Workers of the World - known as the Wobblies, writing many radical songs for them. The phrase appeared first in Hill's The Preacher and the Slave, which parodied the Salvation Army hymn In the Sweet Bye and Bye. The song, which criticized the Army's theology and philosophy, specifically their concentration on the salvation of souls rather than the feeding of the hungry, was popular when first recorded and remained so for some years.


Mrsupole said...

Can I be part of your fantasy world. I like your ideas and want to join in it. Especially the medical and doctor part, oh okay, I liked it all. Count me in.

And I guess I will never win the lottery either because I rarely buy a ticket. I cannot even remember the last time, it was so long ago, but I always have dreams of giving making life a little easier for family and some friends, but most of all to be able to help charities that do not get as much money as the more popular ones.

I guess I am saying that I really like what you wrote here today.

God bless.

PS...Great pics too.

Reya Mellicker said...

You're in, Mrsupole. When you notice an extra $1 million in your bank account, you'll know where it came from!

ellen abbott said...

I like your visions! Especially the health care and the food.

Linda Sue said...

I am write in voting for your imagination next election- Your imagination could work wonders!Could you also make it possible to zap cell phones out of people's hands, ears, voices- but only if if it not an emergency call? That would be cool.

Nancy said...

I actually see some of your dream coming to fruition. Some GP offices have Naturopath doctors on their staff. They handle wellness with the General Practicioner utilizing western medicine for illness. I've encouraged my daughters to persue alternative medicine because I see it becoming more main stream. I like your worldview of the future. Keep thinking that way! (Can we go to cooking school together?) :-)

Hilarywho said...

Nice fantasies, Reya. I especially like your health reforms! Cool pics, too.

Reya Mellicker said...

YES Nancy, definitely. And Linda Sue, let's co-create this future, eh? why not?

willow said...

Reya, our "ifs" are so similar. I often dream of secretly winning the lottery and then the anonymous deposits to family and friends. I'll have to say I would miss Mickey D's double fish fillet, though.

Whitney Lee said...

I have a lovely story of a friend of my sister's, a musician. He was diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis was pretty damn dim. Instead of sitting there and accepting his death sentence, he and his sister set out to travel parts of the world. Everywhere he stopped he tried the methods of healing that were native for that area. I don't remember how long he traveled or how many places he went but by the time he returned to the U.S. he was cancer free.
I would love to see a change in health care. Your vision is not only inspiring, I believe it's possible. The same with fast food. I really think you're on to something!

Reya Mellicker said...

Hey my fantasy does not include taking away your double fish fillet, Willow. But maybe it could be made without transfat. Would that be OK?

Susan said...

Count me in.

Can we add the citizen government fantasy I cherish?
Everyone serves one term - it's like jury duty.
It's an incentive to have an educated, healthy populace.
And no career politicians.

But Reya, really. The Parisian culinary school is one you can make real.

I hope someday to see photos you're talking there.

steven said...

reya - i like your fantasy worlds, your dream worlds and your real worlds. i have a tidy stack of ifs that very occasionally and very unobtrusively poke their way into my consciousness and ask "remember us?" i have to say i do because really without all those worlds this one would be really nice but not quite as cool!!!! have a peaceful dreamy evening in dc. steven

Tom said...

how do we get universe of yours rolling along? Problem is, too many people have different ideas of Utopia--you can have your spatulas, but i want a garden weasel. Either way, we'll all need a good chiropractor :)

Ronda Laveen said...

This is a wonderul list of what ifs. I would like living in that world. I guess, to make that an affirmation, I should say, "I am living in that world."

C.M. Jackson said...


what a wonderful list! What a different world it would be. Thanks for sharing your vision --c

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pauline said...

Your fantasy world sounds like a place I'd like to live. I like the idea of handing money out anonymously and living happily ever after. I'm all for preventative health care and Paris. Meet you there!

karen said...

The part about the laptop people in the coffee shop really made me smile! I do love the utopia according to Reya!