The Great Pursuit
How does one cope with the loss of oneself? How does one rebound from the fading of a dream? Childhood innocence is a gift that must be held at all costs, for once it is gone, recovering it becomes ones life's journey. It will be pursued to the detriment of everything else, because, more so than love, more so than family, more so than pleasure this innocence must be reclaimed. Obsession in its pursuit leads one to go to great extremes, and if it appears out of reach, to the falling of the individual. Men have called it by many names in the past, its journey invoking great quests by noble warriors, and renowned adventurers. The Holy Grail, the fountain of youth, salvation, rejuvenation. Mankind has spent untold fortunes to regain it. Millions of lives spent, destruction of countless worth. All to once again recapture the innocence of childhood.
What is this innocence? What doth inflame most men to give all to reposes it? It is the dream, the dream of ones life, the dream that children have, that all things are possible, that anything can be done. Children can fly if they wish, walk on water, write Nobel prize winning novels and paint priceless master pieces. In a child's mind the only limits that exist are the mere restraints of their guardians. Only if they were free of such nay sayers, they could cure the worlds ails in one moment of time, then spend the rest of their lives soaring, writing, painting or whatever else only a child's mind can perceive.
Fables of miraculous waters, or magic cups have consumed mens minds, when the quest they truly seek lies mostly in front of them, when they behold their children at play. Free from worry, free from regret, full of the dream. A child's mind is all knowing, all believing, all loving. At what point is this innocence lost? This too has consumed men, philosophers, and scientist alike, all, without realizing they too are in the pursuit to reclaim their youths. Some cough it up to the natural progression of life, and pass this information off to the general public without understanding that this common knowledge is part of the problem, as one adult spreads it to a child, and so on and so forth, the lie will continue, and countless billions join the pursuit to dream again.
Look, and see the sadness on their faces. Pass by the streets, gaze at the unsmiling lips, the dark eyes, the down cast cheeks. See the men and women desiring to believe again, to dream, to do the impossible. You can almost hear their minds saying, “just take me back, back to the days when everything meant something, and I was unawares of mine own self.”
Great men have loathed this condition, poems have been written, speeches given, music played, all reaching out to feel again, to see again, to hear again. To a child a story is real, speaking is seen, music is felt, to one who has lost their innocence, these things are nothing more than mere tools, tools that they hope will once again rebuild that dream. You cannot count the great ones who have made noble efforts to reclaim it, men like Solomon, who wrote Ecclesiastes and concluded that all is vanity, useless, worthless, our attempts to rediscover are pointless, beyond our mortal reach. So men form religions, in hopes that one day, when our spirits leave these empty tombs, what was lost will be found, and we will once again soar in the clouds.
We are envious of children, as we hear them speak of the impossible we are quick to rebuke them, quick to place this burden on them so they too will be as empty as we, this is a tragedy, for it is the tragedy of all mankind, save he be raised by wild animals, and never touch the face of humanity. But this has been written as well, men hoping to regain their youths through the eyes of another, characters they have written about in books, whole worlds they have created, places we wish we could be. Ours is a fantasy, a fantasy to return to the real world, one we know has no limits. So we go about daily, daily hoping that we can one day cope with the loss of our own selves.