November 12, 2021
Reflections, Day 35
“I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.”
295 years ago, on October 28, 1726, a singularly captivating book was published. The book was by Jonathan Swift, and the name of it was Gulliver’s Travels. I’m sure you know of it. It is the story of Gulliver, an Englishman, who is washed ashore on a far-away island that was inhabited by little people who went by the name of Lilliputians. The story was great and it had a huge impact on the nature of fiction. That, too, is a great story.
In 1726, The British Empire was a shipping giant. Sailors came home from long, long trips and told fantastic stories of savages, amazing geographical sites, strange looking wild animals, mermaids, and monsters.
Looking back historically it is no wonder that the general reading population accepted Gulliver’s trip to the land of Lilliput to be absolutely true. The book became a sensation and is a treasured story to this day. Of course today we don’t accept the little people as real and we know that it was just well-written fiction.
We are much more sophisticated these days and we would never believe fiction as fervently as they did 300 years ago—or would we?
At any rate, I write a little fiction every now and then. I really enjoy writing fiction because I can type with my eyes closed as my mind pictures the non-existent places and people as I build my story. Freeing my mind to create word pictures in this manner serves to set me free to explore my imagination for a while.
Sometimes a reader will ask me if a certain place exists, or if a character is “real.”
I always say “thank you.”
photo by Tommy Cobb