Looking back over the past few years, I'm astonished at some of the things I've accomplished. I don't need to enumerate them here (although it would be fun), but I will point out that I now ride my bicycle to work once or twice a week, over the Queensborough Bridge and through Manhattan traffic. For anyone who knows me well, this intelligence should astound. And that's only one small astonishment among many.
As I attempt to apprehend the responsible party, one culprit stands out by far: belief. I'm not talking talking about belief in myself. I've always had that, even at the darkest times when it was squashed out of shape and jammed deep into a locked box hidden out of sight in a secret chamber of my heart. No, what I'm talking about here is the belief of one person in another when the two share space and lives.
Like ether, that fabled invisible McGuffin of 19th century science, facilitated the transmission of electromagnetic radiation through what otherwise appeared to be vacuum, so does belief facititate the transmission of ability toward accomplishment. Never mind that the Michelson-Morley experiment drove the first nail into ether's coffin over a hundred years ago. I have demonstrated to my own satisfaction the efficacy of belief.
Its effects stand out most clearly when viewed side-by-side with the results of a control culture from which it is absent. For me, this was the period from mid-1995 to early 1998 when I lived with another writer, Genevieve. Our apartment was an environment singularly and utterly devoid of belief. Once, I ventured the opinion that perhaps someday she might support us with a job while I stayed home and pursued my writing career. After some thought, Genevieve allowed as how that might possibly workso long as she retained the power of approval and oversight of the projects I undertook. It shouldn't surprise you that I didn't manage to sell a single piece of writing during that period.