Letters to Tom — Imagination

Dear Tom,

The draft of the novel was sent yesterday. In a strange way it was difficult to let it go, even to a few friends like you who volunteered to be my critics. I’ve lived the story for the past year, and in a way I had to let it go and move on. It’s a little anti-climatical.

I apologize about being a little preachy lately about the holidays and finding time to contemplate the season and enjoy it. With all the time-saving devices we now have — the one thing they seem to do is make us feel more overwhelmed not less. I don’t remember my grandmother or mother ever being overwhelmed or stressed, but perhaps that’s because I was causing the stress.

I wonder if a little of the feeling of being overwhelmed comes from the attention we give to it. In some ways I’m reminded of this mindless focus in DC over stimulus versus the deficit. Life with all its dreams and surprises has collapsed into economics. Where we focus our attention the drama will go. What I see is a collapse of imagination. When all of our lives collapse into economics, younger people can’t use their imagination to set their life on a course of meaning, and older people like me begin to forget who we really are. We are so afraid to let go of what little we have, we forget what is out there to be seized and enjoyed.

I think I saw a little bit of hope in my own family in this regard over the last couple of weeks. In an attempt to get us all together for Christmas they each became closer, even though the getting together failed. Each placed a higher value on family than on economics or self. The all getting together failed, but in a way it occurred. Each of them now is giving thought to how they want to celebrate the season. They will use their imagination without restraint. I’m excited about the possibilities, and need to remind myself not to forget to use my imagination as well. I will try resist the overwhelming demands of the season, except to the extent they are consistent with my own hopes and dreams.

Advent means beginning. This Advent I need to acknowledge its meaning, and finds to begin to live out my dreams.

Your Friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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