Thursday, June 11, 2009

Outlandish Overcoming 6/11/09

To imagine the unimaginable is the highest use of the imagination.

Cynthia Oziek
Welcome to my lab.
I went with some friends to see the Ringling Brothers circus at the very large Madison Square Garden in New York City. After watching the clowns, the jugglers, the contortionists, the lions, horses, dogs and elephants, the tight rope walkers and trapeze swingers, the last act was the most amazing.

They wheeled out a cannon at one end, a guy climbed into it and was shot out of it, flying across the entire place at about 50 miles an hour. He landed in a vertical net on the extreme other side, bounced out of it into a horizontal net, bounced a few more times, rolled over and swung down to take a bow, The crowd went wild.

Of course I had heard of the act known as "The Human Cannon Ball" but I had never seen it before. I was very impressed. I got to thinking how and why anyone would think of doing such a thing. Cannons have been around for a long time but only for battle reasons. Many things have been fired from cannons: lead balls, of course, fire balls, chains, nails. I even remember reading that some artillerymen shot a bag full of poisonous snakes over an enemy's wall. Nasty.

But to shoot a human being out of a cannon is an entirely different matter, it's unimaginable, especially if you want them to survive. Someone had to imagine it, Someone had to imagine the unimaginable.

Well, someone did and it was probably a Canadian named William Hunt. But ironically Mr. Hunt was not the one who first came out of the mouth of the cannon. The first human cannon shot heard round the world was in 1877 in England. And the first Human Cannon Ball was a 14 year old girl named Rossa Matilda Richter who flew through the air under the name of Zazel. Not only did she survive but P.T. Barnum took her on tour with his circus.

Okay, you've imagined the human cannon ball, now imagine a small wooden bottomed boat sailing alone across the ocean to settle a group of people in a continent none of them have ever been to. Imagine a device that can transport people without using a horse. Imagine a machine you can sit in and fly through the air. Imagine a ship that sails under water. Imagine a cannon so powerful it can shoot people to the moon. Imagine going to Mars.

If we can believe it, it's believable. If we can conceive of it, it's conceivable. And if we can imagine it, it's no longer unimaginable. It's doable.

DB Vagabond Journeys
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What do you think was the most important event of 2008? and

What was the most significant event in your life last year?

You have the Spring to answer if you wish. 10 days left.

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Beth said...

Yay! Believe, conceive, and then DO. B.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

As a clown, I can relate to your circus experience. I have never been shot out of a cannon, but I have been tossed into the back of a jail car.

Imagination and ingenuity is the lifeblood and lifeline of our country.

Char said...

Nice post. I haven't been to a circus in decades. And, I'm sure it wouldn't have been anything like a Ringling Brothers production.

Arlene (AJ) said...

What would any of us be if we didn't allow ourselves to believe that anythihg is possible. Believing opens the door to achieving our goals., Have a good day your way.

Judith Ellis said...

This is simply a beautiful post, DB. I'm smiling aloud over here.
What a gifted creator of images you are. Loved it! Thank you.