Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The need for the impractical




The video is from the last episode of the 2009 season of BBC's Top Gear and it moves me.  It's not that I'm particularly taken with the Aston Martin V12 Vantage but rather about why it's important.

Although I don't reflect it much in these pages I am at heart an incurable gearhead.  I don't look at the automobile as a mere means of conveyance but rather an expression of the soul. 

We live in a world bent on the disposable.  Nothing we own is designed to be held, cherished or valued beyond its immediate purpose.  Our busy lives cluttered with the trappings of a rudimentary survival leave little room for the seemingly impractical.

I understand the need for the purely practical vehicle but it should hold no higher rank than one that evokes the emotions.  We seem to forget that life is a gift meant to be embraced not suffered.  The soul needs as much nourishment as the body but its frequently denied. 

146032_PrimaryAnd we suffer.  Our minds trapped in the narrow constraints of our profession.  Our relationships never fully realized, our dreams never known.  A sad construct reinforced by the demands of the mundane.   We tell ourselves that someday we will be able to live our dreams if we just deny ourselves a little longer.  The focus is on the destination but sadly we find ourselves unfulfilled when we get there.  All the time, all the effort for little more than a brutal survival near our inevitable end. 

Practicality has its place but we need to take advantage of all the journey has to offer.
For me, the sight of an early 70's pony car starts my mind racing.  Perhaps it's in sad shape.  Oxidized paint, a cracked taillight or mismatched wheels, it doesn't matter.   My heart doesn't see an impractical jalopy destined for the crusher,  I see a cry for rebirth.

And given the opportunity, I'd gladly play midwife...

Yes compared to a hybrid, it will probably swallow fuel like a drunkard swills cheap wine, it will require constant attention like a young child and will never meet the measure of practicality.  It doesn't matter.  I'll form a connection that feeds my soul and that's its purpose.  

Anything can get me from point A to point B. 

I want to be conscious of the journey and I want the opportunity to make it to continue on.  That can't happen in a Prius.


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