There's a fountain at the very tip of the city of Pittsburgh. It's built at the confluence of 2 rivers- the allegheny and the monanghehala as it joins the Ohio river. If you went there at night, when the crowd has disappeared, when the sun has finished burning his calories, when the moon slyly begins to pretend, and the stars come out to gossip about the world in their own little cliques, you can feel like you have the whole universe to yourself. As you walk around the fountain, the spray will kiss you ever so gently. And the wind will whisper in your ear and tell you that everything is as it should be. And the leaves on the trees rustle as they nod in agreement. And then you slowly open your eyes and the water bobs up and down making you smile. You look up and see the clouds dancing. And you feel alive as you can only have imagined.
And then you realize.
This is all imagination.
And then your smile vanishes. The stars are just burning hydrogen. The moon's just reflecting light. The wind's just blowing and the trees and the water are just acted upon by mere forces.
There used to be a time when I didn't feel the need to sort every one of my thoughts neatly into organized piles, one labeled reality and the other labeled imagination.
I didn't have to tell myself when my eyes were closed and when they were open. And then there were the times when knowing the difference didn't matter. I was just easily thrilled about knowing "why" while imagining "why not".
Believing that raindrops were tiny wishlets that angels sprinkled on earth and all you had to do to catch them was drench yourself in the rain existed right next to condensation cycles and water cycles. I could be the consummate juggler, holding the truth ball one minute and the dream ball the next. I could amuse myself by flipping them over and over and over again. And if you didn't think about it, you couldn't tell the difference between one ball and the other.
At some point I got lazy. I decided to hold the reality ball and drop the other.Now I find myself groping in the past for the other ball. Often, it will occur to that the solution is simple. All I need to do is drench myself the next time it rains. Somewhere in that small wonder, my juggling ball is hiding. And in making that wonder last, perhaps I will have found my juggling act again.