Being a practical dreamer is the hardest thing. Yet it could be the most rewarding too. If you have dreams (or quests) how do they become real? If you’re busy in your life how could each moment become filled with inspiration? Everyday activities are usually thought of as “mundane” and tiresome, and people who are “dreamers” are dismissed as not practical.
So walking the walk of a “practical dreamer” means putting one foot in a vision (some may say “the future”) and one foot in they way things are (some may say “the present”). One step after another. For example in you have a dream of solutions to the world’s current disasters like climate change, food shortages, homelessness or if you have a vision of humanity living in sustainable, eco-friendly communities, how do you start to get there? Each step demands perseverance, faith, trust, courage, and most of all must be fired by a quest, love for others. Quest to do something for the other, for others.
When one is walking in that poetic land of dreams and visions one can lose track of the practical, and when one is immersed in the land of practical work one can lose track of the dream, the vision. One must always believe in their union – in the possibility and probability of “dreams come true” when the seeds are sown with the right intention. In the practical world one finds many obstacles to bump into and eventually learn how to avoid. And in the poetic world of dreams there is a frustrating disconnect from experiencing the vision.
“No one can say there is a meaning to life, I must make my own life meaningful, that is all” wrote Nader Khalili at the start of his life-story book “Sidewalks on the Moon”. For those of us whose story is “yet untold” this is the challenge of sustainable living where “sustainability begins with a person”. How to sustain your dreams and quests in everyday life, walking the walk of a practical dreamer. One must flight test the truth of the unity of opposites. In earth architecture this is experienced through hands-on work with the unity of tension and compression in the form of arches, vaults and domes. In other life arts such there is unity of compassion and free will, unity of sacrificing and asserting, of connecting and observing, and many others which can be discovered through hands-on work with elements such as water, food, medicine, shelter, air, and energy.
Sustainable design work involves bringing together seemingly unrelated concepts and finding a purposeful connection. And along the way of trying to be a practical dreamer there are useful products and results for humanity, responding to the world’s present need, for a sustainable way of life in sustainable communities. And what of the practical dreamers themselves? That is for each person to research and discover, who chooses to try to become practical in the field of their dreams.