Monday, June 07, 2010

Technicolor Dreams

In the early 1990s there was a magazine called Mondo 2000.

The internet didn't exist as we know it, people were chatting on bulletin boards and a few corporate chatboards (GEnie, CompuServe, AOL, etc.). The Macintosh was just beginning to get a full head of steam, software companies were growing like crazy and there was an interesting set of people who lived to 'create' in this new world of information.

Mondo 2000 was an amalgamation of all that was strange. A combination of drugs, sex, computers, media, oddities ... pretty much out there. The people who wrote for the magazine and collaborated on it did really crazy things and wrote about experiences that I would never have in a world I would never know or understand. I was fascinated.

Living in Omaha in a white-bread, homogenized world was safe for me but didn't push me to do anything more than what I was already doing day by day. I would go home at night, log on to one of the Bulletin Boards out of San Francisco or Boston, chat with people around the country and my world began to open up. I just knew that there was more to life than the drab existence around me. My mind absorbed everything and I was learning how to be open to possibilities.

These were the days that I would lay in bed after the world around me had gone to sleep wondering what it would be like if there actually was life on other planets and what would I do if they showed up in my back yard. More than all of the science fiction I had ever read (and I'd read a lot), I was beginning to see that all of that crazy, dreamed up fiction might have a chance to become reality.

The world was changing rapidly and I was gaining access to more than I had ever dreamed would be available to me. It felt as if astounding changes were happening in the world every single morning I woke up.

At some point, though, I started becoming used to the changes. Nothing surprised and delighted me any longer. Information was still information and I had access to all of it. I became so overloaded that I expected the unexpected and quit looking for the discovery.

I've gotten cynical in my old age. Too much of my life is spent in the 'known' universe. It seems as if everyone around me is more interested in stability than in discovery. It's better to be safe than to explore.

But when I shut my eyes, I see a night sky filled with stars, ocean depths with untold possibilities of exploration, ideas and flights of fancy that could develop into life changing possibilities.

I look back at the world that was opening up to me at the beginning of our present cyberculture. Back when there were limitless ideas. That culture hasn't died, people haven't stopped dreaming. I just lost contact with them.

God has created enough mysteries and things to be discovered to entrance anyone willing to search. I can not allow the mundane requirements of a boring life to stop me from finding my way into that extraordinary universe.

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