Tilting @ Windmills

     As I gazed down from the top of Mt Scott, in Oklahoma, I felt a certain awe at the sight of these monstrous beauties. This was the primary reason that I had wanted to take a little side trip after the work was over. (See next post for more on that)

    I had seen a photo online that showed these wonders in the distance. As it turned out, the mists of morning further added to their stark grandeur.

     Then I couldn’t help but think of Don Quixote and his attack on the windmills of Spain. I suppose the phrase ‘tilting at windmills’ is rather quaint and somewhat archaic. I doubt that there is a texting acronym for it, yet it seems so insidiously prevalent in our day to day lives and even in our own inner struggles.

The definition, or description of the phrase is,

“…attacking imaginary enemies”

(tilt, from jousting)

“…where adversaries are incorrectly perceived, or courses of action that are based on misinterpreted or misapplied heroic, romantic, or idealistic justifications.”


Without going into details, the most obvious perpetrators are just about anyone who passionately discusses partisan politics. One might imagine that there are windmills on every corner pretending to be the giants that come to occupy their minds…and often, these giants aren’t idly waiting for someone to attack them. No, they become forces which move into the mind’s neighborhood, and must be quelled at any cost, with little regard for consequences…to the windmill or to the embarrassment of the ‘chivalrous’ though delusional knight who is knocked from his steed by the blades of truth.

(Sometimes they have become so entrenched within an individual mind that the knight in question will heroically pummel their own head while trying to rid it of these imagined victimizing injustices.)

I think that often, in this case, we ‘knights’ don’t recognize that landing hard on our butts is a defeat, but rather a further cause and justification to continue ‘tilting’.


We also have a tendency to tilt at windmills within our own lives and minds.

There is a reason that Don Quixote is considered a Classic and is still read by many, 400 years after its conception.

All of us have seen traces of Don Quixote in our own lives. The noble quest…The struggle to find beauty, understanding, and the strength and courage to overcome obstacles that we encounter…the obstacles we put in our own way.

We all probably have a bit of Sancho Panza in our psyche, also.

The sidekick…

The part of us that tries to keep us out of trouble…

Or confounds our ideals…

Or simply makes light of our trials.

Sancho could serve as the conscience…

The voice of reason…

Or signify the newer concept of ‘the lizard brain’, using reason to  thwart our creative endeavors as being ‘not normal’…

Or ‘too scary’.

I’m afraid Sancho too often says,

“What would others think?!”

Back to Oklahoma…


These massive wind turbines have their own ‘tilters’.

I have heard some decry their sight as being ‘ugly’, ‘an eye-sore’…

I find that to be far from the truth.

Others point out the fact that birds die from flying into them.

Now, no offense to birds, but a single blade on one of these is anywhere from 40-75 meters long

(That’s 131-274 feet for we Americans)

It would seem rather hard to miss…or should I say EASY to miss…

And, it’s not that they spin so invisibly fast, like a window fan…

They are constructed so as to lumber along and shut down in major gusts

I don’t want birds to die. My heart breaks a little every time I hear one slam into a window of my house.

But, I don’t think we should ban houses!

These wind turbines, windmills, are a step towards harnessing the energy that our world offers.

Individual thought is also an incredibly useful energy.

Perhaps we should refrain from tilting at both.

On another note, here is the link to a past post.  I often see photos, or even paintings that make me wonder,

“Why did they choose that subject to ‘immortalize’?”

Sometimes it’s in appreciative awe, in others it’s with shoulder shrugging dismissal.

This is one image  that I myself wondered about the inspiration, and then it struck me last week.

I do believe that this was inspired by, and stuck somewhere in my subconscious by an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show 

from the Sixties.

Funny…the things that stick with us…!!!


~ by rkpowers on April 22, 2012.

2 Responses to “Tilting @ Windmills”

  1. How lovely. How remarkably lovely your thoughts regarding these connective ideas. Thank you.


  2. Reblogged this on SMIPP Ltd..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: