Of Camelot and the Desire for More
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Of Camelot and the Desire for More • Posted: Mar 20, 2022 17:23:34Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

“Once there was a time ...” We all know the stories, of Camelot, of Eden, and more. In a time long past, things were as they should be, and maybe could be again. Or so the stories go. We have only to take things into hand to make it so. Or so the stories go. We all risk falling prey to such enchantments, from skin creams that will make us young again, to remedies that will restore our health, to nostalgic song lyrics, to romantic movies, to political promises, to prophetic assurances that God will save us. Our imaginations are stirred. We cannot help it. We are human. We all long for something more than what is right in front of us. We do so every single day, from sunrise to sunset. And even throughout the night. We do it from when we are young, while we are grown, right unto the moment of our very last breath.

Imagination is undoubtedly a gift, an endowment meant to assist in our survival. But it is not absolute license to act in any way we can imagine. Both nature and our fellows provide boundaries, boundaries it would be perilous for us to cross. Taking note of those boundaries does not quash imagination. On the contrary, those boundaries can help funnel our imaginations down safe corridors. Think of the human wish to fly like a bird. Acting within the boundaries of natural physics and chemistry, imagination has propelled us onward toward near realization of that dream, though many have died willfully ignoring or in ignorance of those boundaries. We must not ignore the boundaries. We do so at great peril.

But what of history, the conditions surrounding those idyllic places within the stories we’ve been told? Could we really turn the course of things and restore what is no more? Could we reverse aging? Could we rejuvenate both human and animal health? Could we restore the health of oceans and the rain forests? Could we reestablish an empire or reseat a king? Could we bring back Camelot? Could we make dinosaurs live again?

I don’t know about for you, but all that sounds rather silly to me. Why bring back ignorances that imperiled and limited our lives in innumerable ways? What is before us now, today, this minute, is opportunity to make something far better and far grander than anything that ever existed in the past. We have knowledge and language, an ability to learn, an openness to sharing and cooperating, and a desire to explore and to build and to experiment. History is not destiny. With but few exceptions, history is largely the excrement of our species, the catalog of poisons, fears, arrogances, and ignorances that have bound, stifled, and destroyed each and every one of us and brought ruin to nearly everything around us. No, the past shall not be our destination. We have much better places to go, much better things to do, much better memories to make for ourselves.

Spring is here. Build, but do not destroy. All is precious in ways we have yet to understand and appreciate. Let your imagination run, but let it be heedful of boundaries known and yet to be discovered. The way is there. It always has been, and always will be.

Sunday, March 25th, 2012