Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reality 1, Pessimists 0 !



This cracked me up when I read it:

Often, the person in the group who articulates the possible is dismissed as a dreamer or as a Pollyanna persisting in a simplistic "glass half-full" kind of optimism. The naysayers pride themselves on their supposed realism. However, it is actually the people who see the glass as "half-empty" who are the ones wedded to a fiction, for "emptiness' and "lack" are abstractions of the mind, whereas "half-full" is a measure of the physical reality under discussion. The so-called optimist, then, is the only one attending to real things, the only one describing a substance that is actually in the glass.

That's from the book The Art of Possibility by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander.

Emily Dickinson said it beautifully a long time ago:

I dwell in
Possibility--


A fairer House than
Prose--


More numerous of
Windows--


Superior-- for
Doors--



Today, I feel an urge (need?) to open the windows and throw open the doors of possibility. In other words, the book I'm working on is half-full of words, instead of half empty, yes it is. So there, pessimism, take that! Pow, right on the kisser.

What's in your glass today? :)

31 comments:

Nancy P said...

Posting late on Tuesday, to be up and going on Wednesday!

Now to bed.

The coffee's plugged in and ready to go. Just press ON.

Family Man said...

Morning Nancy.

I guess I'm an optimist because I try to see the positive in everything. However, the pessimist does come out every now and then.

Already pressed the ON button and enjoying the first cup of coffee.

Cathy C said...

Sometimes I see the glass half full, sometimes half empty, sometimes broken. But the part of me that fights the hardest to get to the surface is the side that wants to see the possibilities.
Score another for the optimists.

Happy Halloween!

Maria Lima said...

Morning, all!!

I'm most always a half-full sort of person and today, my glass is brimming over with possibility. I'm off in about 30 minutes to World Fantasy Convention, where I'll be speaking on a panel on Friday with Doctor Who screenwriter and author Paul Cornell.

I'll also get to rub elbows with loads of friends and hopefully get to meet some of my favorite authors. Both my editor and the editor-in-chief of my publisher will be there and pimping my book.

It doesn't get much better than this.

As to my book-in-progress, it's about 1/3 full. ::g::

GhostFolk.com said...

"The ghost of a flower?" said our host.
"That's a brand-new one on me;
I never supposed a flower had a ghost,
Though I've seen the shade of a tree."

Ghosts for everyone and Happy Hallowed Eve!

katiebird said...

I'm an optimist, but I've never spent much time thinking about how much is left in my glass.

Doesn't it matter what's IN the glass?

If it's a nice glass of sparkling spring water, that's one thing. But, if it's a glass of that stuff you have to drink before a colonoscopy -- that's totally different.

Like the difference between anticipating a root canal or Halloween:

I could say -- Today's almost over and be anticipating being on the other side of my root canal. (Optimist)

or I could say -- Today's almost over and be anticipating being on the other side of seeing all the cute little kids in their Halloween costumes. (Pessimist)

And if it's just plain old water, I'd probably just get up and get another glass -- then I'd have TWO glasses of water!

katiebird said...

Yikes! I almost missed the poll.

AndiF said...

Well, given that I'm traveling for work and about to spend the day in a beige conference room of death, I'm thinking that discretion is the better part of commenting on this post.

Have an optimistic day, all. ;)

FARfetched said...

Mumble, grumble... my cup is overflowing, with crap.

Just kidding!

Lots of stuff going on, I'll post to TFM so as not to clutter the comments here. But I voted "pessoptimist" in the poll (thanks for pointing it out, KB, I missed it too), because with all the crap that does go on in my life, I somehow find good in it. I'm not finding masterpieces in the trash, but still.

Ghost: great poem! Shade of a tree... LOLOL!

Maria: seriously, I'm thrilled for you. Have a great time at the convention & sell lots of books!

Kelly McCullough said...

I'm more of a game the rules kind of soul: "With one smooth motion of this nifty glass cutter the glass is now full. Smaller, sure, but full nonetheless. Did I win something?"

Nancy P said...

the part of me that fights the hardest to get to the surface is the side that wants to see the possibilities.

Me, too, Cathy.

I think one reason I fight is because I watched my dad give up so easily on the smallest things. His mantra was, "This will never work." He was the world's nicest man, but so easily dispirited. I never want to be like that, though I am sometimes. The Buddhists call that a form of laziness! It was a revelation to me when I learned how they view it. ". . .an inclination for unwholesome ways, despondency, and self-contempt." Whew. Ew. Ouch. And may I just say again, ouch.

Nancy P said...

And on a more enthusiastic note--hi,family man,cathy c,maria, ghost, andi,katie, far, and kelly! You guys always lift my mood and I hope we do the same for each of you.

famman, thanks for starting the coffee!

Andi, very funny! "the beige conference room of death."

ghost, I love that.

Maria! You go, writer girl!

katie, you are a pro when it comes to water glasses. :)

far, "finding masterpieces in the trash." Sigh. I want to do this with this manuscript.

Kelly, that is brilliant strategy!

FARfetched said...

Kelly, this is how I've heard it:

The optimist says, "the glass is half-full."

The pessimist says, "the glass is half-empty."

The engineer says, "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."

Oh, and Nancy, I forgot, your ED poem reminded me of the saying, "In a cyber world without walls or fences, who needs Windows or Gates?"

Nancy P said...

far, lol! It must have been a Mac user who coined that phrase.

Kimberly Frost said...

I saw a quote that I really enjoyed that said something like:

"Optimist and pessimists are each right half the time, but the optimists have a lot more fun."

FARfetched said...

Nancy, actually it was a Linux user. But I agree.... ;-)

Man Eegee said...

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

kelly: I received Cybermancy yesterday.....and I read it straight through. The bloodshot eyes are all your fault! (thanks muchly for a great tale)

katiebird said...

Hi Manny, I just finished both books -- they're great. I really, really enjoyed them.

Beth said...

Hi everyone. Quick note. I'm in Key West - made it safely. Rainy and windy around Miami, but breezy and gorgeous down here. So I'm safe, don't worry - worry about Key West instead!! evil grin

I'll stop in later to read all that I've missed - I'm off to the pool.

Hugs and smooches - Beth

Kelly McCullough said...

Thanks for the props, Man E, Katiebird. Glad you both enjoyed them.

Beth, good to hear that you've arrived safely.

Nancy, if I ever write a book called Everything I need to Know I Learned from Role-Playing Games, one of the chapters is going to be on gaming the system (known in gamer geek circles as rules lawyering). The classic example comes from a game where you spend points to build a character. You start with a set pool of points, say 200. But you can also buy points by taking character disadvantages. But some disads can be read in a different light. Kleptomania for example, for which my old group coined the phrase that's not a disad at all–free points and free stuff!.

Now I've got to run try to squeeze some writing in (today was a winterize the house day).

FARfetched said...

Kelly: remind me some time to expound on what happens when you get a dozen engineering students involved in a role-playing game. Lawyering? You haven't seen nothin'! :-)

katiebird said...

Ah, now the whole 2nd Life reluctance is clearer. You've already done it!

Conda said...

Happy Halloween all!

Fun, interesting post, Nancy.

Yes, I'm a born optimist--can't you tell by all the exclamation marks I use? Luckily I don't use near as many in my regular writing!

Glad Beth made it to Key West!

boran2 said...

Extra late for the party due to trick or treating. Not me, the b2 boy. Today my glass was overfull, way too much on my plate. But normally I'd say that I go back and forth between optimist and pessimist.

olivia said...

I'm a realist and an pessimist. B/c they are one and the same ... :P

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

My husband and I met, by chance, 12 years ago. We haven't been apart since that day.

We don't celebrate the anniversary of the day we met. We celebrate the anniversary of the day BEFORE.

We call it: You Never Know Day. And we celebrate the reality that you never know what wonderful thing, something that you could never predict, is right around the corner. Waiting to happen the very next day. Or the very next minute.

You never know. And that's a good thing.

xo Hank

Nancy P said...

Hi, Kimberly, Manee, and Beth, even if I am a day late in saying so!

Beth, I have to check a map to see where you are in regard to Noel, although you should be home long before it reaches that area, right? It is Not a Nice Hurricane. I have two friends vacationing in the Bahamas right now, and I'm hoping they have tickets home today.

Nancy P said...

kelly, I love that. "Free points and free stuff!" There's an upside to almost everything. :)

And far, the idea of engineering students playing games like that is verrrry amusing, too.

Nancy P said...

Conda, sometimes I think that those of us who are basically optimists use all those ex. points to convince ourselves, lol. !!!!

Hi, b2, maybe a gamer would get you a bigger glass?

Dearest Olivia, your photos are the very picture of optimism. ;p ;)

Nancy P said...

Hank, I had to read that a couple of times to get it and then, Oh!

You Never Know Day. That's lovely and funny and, viewed from the perspective of your romantic story, truly optimistic.

Beth said...

No storm here at all, Nancy. Lots of wind, but clear skies and HOT sunshine! I watched the weather this am and it looked like the Bahamas were going to be blasted - we're very far west of that. No worries about me, but thanks for being concerned. I'm talking too much and laughing too much - listening to lots of great live music, meeting friends, and having a beer or two - but that's all.

Will post to my blog tomorrow when I go downstairs and find a stronger signal.

Oh, and always an optimist! I love the 'glass is too big,' far, and cutting it in half, kelly, and what it's full of, kb.

Waves to everyone else!! And now to bed. zzzzzz