The Key to Elflan: or, An Overexhuberance for Common Things


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    Join date : 2013-08-26

    The Key to Elflan: or, An Overexhuberance for Common Things Empty The Key to Elflan: or, An Overexhuberance for Common Things

    Post by Dinwar on Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:24 pm

    I have been sorting through sediment, looking for rodent teeth, at work recently. To keep from losing the last of my waning sanity, I've been listening to books on tape (courtesy of The one that most struck me was Tremendous Trifles, by G. K. Chesterton. In this work Chesterton managed to present the thunderous power of the modern age, and all its wonders--by illustrating that even the smallest of things, even a piece of plain white chalk broken from a rock, can be miraculous. We are far further beyond Chesterton's era than he was beyond that of the Crusades and Middle Ages, and I feel that once again we should examine our world, in order to once again learn that we inhabit a wonderland, a fantasy realm more wonderous than Elfland and more holy than Avalon. And, like Chesterton, I propose to do it by examining those things which are commonplace.

    The commonplace is always miraculous, I have found. The very act of becoming ubiquitous and foundational is a miracle--few things have managed to make the journey from invention to foundation, just as few bricks make the journey from rafters to floorboards. And like those unhappy bricks, most inventions shatter in the attempt. Yet in their very success these items lose that shining power with which they are imbued in their birth. A farmer sees nothing special, indeed nothing notable about the soil; it is only a person at a desk far from the fields that considers dirt of interest. By that same token, the person at the desk is surrounded by the most fantastic contraptions, which achieve all but the loftiest goals of the alchemist, and considers them commonplace. It is the farmer that finds them wondrous. If we are to be true heirs to the greatness that we inherit with our first breath, we must on occasion take a glance around ourselves and realize this self-evident, and therefore best-hidden of facts. The key to finding Avalon lies not within a mist of sea or land, but the mists within our own eyes.

    It has become customary in recent years to attempt to write a book in this month. That is the other impetus for this undertaking--that, and the shear chance of encountering a book of essays by Sir Francis Bacon at a book store. There is something amusing about beginning this task at nearly the halfway point of this customarily literary month; Chesterton himself said that his book would not shake the foundations of the realm, and that it was doubtful that any would notice if he turned in his essays after the last moment. I believe his spirit would smile upon the attempt to recapture his vision after it was too late to begin.

    I therefore take up the torch, and propose to write once a day about some trivial matter, in order to illustrate the majesty of our age. Several ideas are already rising within my mind; once the veil is torn from one's eyes the task becomes not finding a subject, but settling down to write one essay worthy of the material. Still, the ephemeral nature of this medium gives me hope. If I fail to do the subjects justice, I can take solace in the fact that few shall be aware of it. Naught to lose, and all to gain; how can any of high spirits not take up the banner?

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