"Hoist the Jolly Roger!"


“Hoist the Jolly Roger!”

The only human truly infinite wilderness is the wilderness of the imagination.

I remember well my first experience of the infinite.  It came on my 7th birthday in the form of a paper kite.  It was pale yellow with the black skull and cross bones printed on it.  It was a gift from my brother Tom.  Perhaps two of Tom’s most endearing qualities were the fact that he never lost touch with his “little boy” heart, and his generosity.  Both of the qualities inspired him to gift me the pirate kite and then thoroughly enjoy the sparks it kindled in my heart.

A risk of an early April birthday is you never know what the weather will bring.  But that birthday was sunny and warm – breezy but not windy.  Ideal for a test flight. 

We also lived at the edge of my known universe at that time.  Murphy Drive curved past our house and just one more before ending at the edge of an idle farm field.  All of our neighborhood streets ended at the edge of that same field.  And it was idle field as far as a little boy could run and play.  That also meant there were no trees to snatch at my kite; there was nothing but sky.

Tom gave me the stick with the string attached and walked about 30 feet away.  He held the kite up high and asked, “Are you ready?”  I nodded and he let it go.  It soared straight up and Tom told me, “Let out some more string.”  I loosened my grip and let the stick slip round and round in my hand – the string played out and the kite climbed higher. 

Now some kids might get bored after a while.  But not me.  I sat down on a big rock with my eyes fixed on my kite as it waved back and forth.  I felt the tug on the string.  I didn’t feel like the string tethered the kite so much as the string connected me to my kite.  My spirit caught the breezes and soared with that Jolly Roger kite.  The whole afternoon slipped by unnoticed as the sky seemed endless; possibilities seemed endless.

The only human truly infinite wilderness is the wilderness of the imagination.

All the great accomplishments whether they be in the arts, literature, science, or academics all have a common source in the imagination.  The spark always proceeds the fire.  The dream always proceeds the vision and the vision always proceeds the new reality.

God lives here in the world of imagination.  I do not mean that God is only a thought, only a dream.  God is very real.  I mean that God resides in the realm of infinite possibilities.  It is only in that realm that unconditional love and infinite mercy could have sprung forth in the person of Jesus.  The incarnation wasn’t God being tethered by the earth; it was God freely choosing and deeply desiring to be connected with his creation.

These days perhaps most of all, as the world seems to have collapsed in on itself, can remind us all that the answer is always up and out from ourselves.  The next answer lies first in the imagination, then in the dream, then in the vision and then in the new realities.  The realm of infinite possibilities is one of God’s most endearing gift to us and testimony to the reality that his most sacred heart never stops beating for us, and the depth of his generosity that he would share so great a gift with us.  He has most assuredly created us in his image.

The only human truly infinite wilderness is the wilderness of the imagination.

His Peace,

Deacon Dan

Photo by Danny Wage on Unsplash