Essay no. 2
by Christopher Brown
As a child entering puberty, I recognized the tomfoolery of man and his adult world.
Man, unlike child is willing to give up his imagination for the sake of 'industry' or 'practicality'. There is a better word to describe this 19th century ideal, but it alludes me.
This adult sacrifices the spirit of imagination for the 'practical' world he thinks he will enter in doing so—abandoning 'dreams' and 'imagination' in single, broad strokes. He does not see the necessity of 'waking dreams', nor the conception (notion) that the adult is merely the continuation—or extension—of the child. What is to the one must inevitably be to the other. The clouds of creation to go with the hand that hath the means to build the dreams to stone and iron—bring the clay to life in the kilns of fire.
Man neglects this and more.
He sacrifices his very essence, throwing away his very center—the locus of his power to reason. Our ability to model external creation is built upon our capacity to dream. What better way exists to strengthen that skill than through the waking dreams of youth? Why must this sport only be for children? Are not the 'sports' of youth made fully developed in adulthood? Do we not become fuller players of the great American pastime of Baseball? How then can one expect the art of imagination to be any different—follow any different a path? Would not this be asking us to do no less than go against our very nature?
Man (or very much so woman) is blessed with dreams of waking slumber. We can experience in our minds the worlds of plenty or few—explore all that is, could be, or never will be. That we throw this blessing away at a very youthful age to “fit-in” is madness. Parents tell their kids to “stop living in the clouds”, [through] that age old insult to Socrates by Aristophanes in his play The Clouds.
We somehow believe adulthood must be the absence of childhood fun as opposed to its fruition. Imagination is the blooming of a flower and the ripening of its fruit that we may all enjoy together.
Have we not reached an age where man is “mature” enough in experience to see the folly of Aristophanes and his peers? We need imagination and must look to our childhood to find it.