In the urgent-now of anticipation and anxiety rooted in nostalgia, I pursue profundity, supposing to find escape in intellectualism and philosophy. So I walk the woods of Emerson and muse over the shavings of Aristotle. I turn over this stone or that to see what life lives beneath; and crumble dry leaves within my hand to see what comes of a thing at death; I peel back the bark of ancient trees and touch my tongue to taste the sap of a forgotten world; I walk the traveled paths in hopes that I might find the road less traveled and say, when it has come to an end, “Yes, that has made all the difference.”
But profundity eludes the searcher, the philosopher, the intellect—for he looks outside and beyond the common supposing that something great lies just there, just at that place where human eye once ventured, but gave up venture in despair: one man sought, but gave up seeking…or so it seems. He supposes—or should I more honestly say, I—that I suppose insight may be found, like gold, in a place too little searched, too long ago.
Weary, I lay upon the living room floor. Speckles of crumbs lie scattered as feed for non-existent bird. The labors of the day bore no sight of the profound, no vision of introspective glory too great for simple articulation. I nearly sleep while my children play nearby. They play common games with common toys: this one races cars while that one lines up figures in some comedy of movie characterization: Batman is friend to Mr. Incredible, and he to Chewbacca, and he to an oversized Care Bear. Darth Vader barks commands at Buzz Lightyear and a Lego Indiana Jones trades heads with a Clone Trooper—an orchestration of such contradiction that it stretches the imagination beyond breaking—or, at least, the imagination of the old.
I am old, if proved only by the declaration of the preponderance of my observation. In ages past, I brought the jungle of Africa to the planets of far off adventure and waged war on alien creatures with a Six Million Dollar Man. And all was right with the world.
In my half awakened state, these characters of play grow large as life. Dreams overtake reality as they engaged for prominence on the battlefield of imagination. And in their haste, they pause and wonder at the sleeping giant—the figure of a man more out of place than adventures in space and aliens in the Amazon. And I find in that too-oft searched, neglected space—gold. It glitters with the glint of imagination, captured in child’s play.
This is profundity.