I’m about halfway through Alain de Botton’s book Kiss & Tell.
The following passage got me wondering:
To anyone suffering from a fantasy of passivity, Andrew O’Sullivan could not have been more apt; he was an ideal companion for a shipwreck or a plane crash, he would have known how to light a fire with two sticks, build a tent from a rug and bamboo canes and attract the attention of rescue services with a pocket lighter. In non-disastrous life, these capacities manifested themselves in a dexterity with insurance claim forms, household wiring and the two fiddly screws which came with Isabel’s wall-mounted phone….
…A feature of what makes a man useful in a shipwreck is his ability to block a part of his imagination, the one skilled at envisaging a band of pirates slaughtering the passengers or a typhoon turning a difficult situation into a funeral. While this block is welcome in emergencies, it may present problems on quiet spring days with there is a need for an imaginative understanding of another’s muted dramas (123-124).
I probably know more imaginative dreamers than the dexterous saviors. I know I’ve said before that I have no intentions of marrying or mating or falling in love), but if I were to meet, befriend, and feel positive feelings for someone who embodied both dreamer and savior, I might reconsider my conviction.
My question is… though real life is filled with nuanced and multi-layered problems and solutions, which allow for answer choices A-E and a-e, there are times when one only has an A or a B. Dreamer or savior. If you truly had to pick a side, where would you stand? To ensure yourself a fulfilling or worry-free life, according to your own parameters, would you take the dreamer or the savior to be with you until the day you breathe your last breath?
I may have to pick the savior. Sometimes I think my imagination is active enough for three people.