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Monday, January 23, 2012

The King of Carpets and the End of Time-

I am fascinated by people I symbolize by the title "King of Carpets." The King of Carpets is an imaginary construction on my part representing those motivated and focused people who take their opportunities and with focused energy build an empire. Perhaps it is just an empire of floor coverings, but it is an empire.

I think I am fascinated by such people because I am not at all like that. Why am I not like that? Why can't I see that becoming the greatest floor covering distributor in the tri-state area is a worthy purpose? I actually know why I am not like that. It has to do with the End of Time. Not the actual end of time, of course. I haven't yet been there. It is the End of Time as I perceived it in my youth.

Imagination is a good thing, for the most part. Imagination has allowed us to build the modern world. It is a better world than the world of the past, unless you imagine that the past is better. Or course imagined pasts are generally imagined lacking some of the problems of the past, like war and pestilence and plagues and starvation. Other than that, the past was pretty good. I imagine that modern life is better.

When I was growing up I read a lot, and imagined more. I eventually learned that the Universe was winding down, cooling toward a long, cold death. Yep, that's the destiny of Everything. Energy exchanged until it all runs down. Black holes and dark dwarf stars. Nothing living. Really, really cold. Of course, later the model changed and there is some possibility that the Universe will collapse into a singularity. Really, really hot, and amazingly small. In either case, not much of a future.

An imaginative child exposed to this can assume that there is no purpose to anything, if these are the two likely  ending scenarios. Why put a lot of effort into becoming the King of Carpets if everything either grows unbelievably cold or collapses into a tiny hot point? Obviously this child needed counseling, but nobody could understand what he was talking about.

The King of Carpets cannot be bothered by the End of Time. Really, who has time for that? Sure, those carpets are destined to pass away, as is the money made from selling them. Still, the big house, fast car and wide screen television are worth some effort. Being the greatest floor-covering distributor in the tri-state area can get you this stuff. Anyway, the burning and freezing comes well after the cancer and Alzheimer and the long, cold sleep. Perspective is everything.

So the imaginative kid rendered unmotivated by the looming End of Time billions of years in the future never became the King of Carpets. I.. er, he probably bought a carpet or two from the King of Carpets, but he never built a textile empire. He did manage to build a pretty decent life, in spite of the prospects of absolute zero or the unimaginable heat of a collapsed singularity.

He even managed to engage that imagination beyond apocalyptic scenarios. He read a lot of books, most of which were works of imagination. He wrote a few, as well. He spent a little time toying with the Kings of Mundane Aspirations by drawing their focus outward toward bigger things. Did you know that doing that can make them mad? Not a good career move, by the way. Amusing, but not really a good idea.

Imagination obsessively embracing either Universal or personal mortality is not wholesome. Ignoring it is even less wholesome, but it really isn't a good focus. Balance. Yes. Imagination should embrace balance. So, I imagine that the imaginative child who too much embraced the End of Time might say something like, "Use your imagination, but use it as a tool. Create. Build. Sell carpets, or write books. It may all burn or freeze in the end, but in the now is where life happens. Imagine, but not too much."

So, if you are or aspire to be the King of Anything, I say, "Bravo." If not, imagine something. Read, think, create, and imagine. Do stuff. Do little things. Do big things. Do everyday things, and some things that nobody else would do. You don't have to be the best. Just your best. Imagine a Universe where the best goes on forever. No freezing. No burning. The best. Forever.

Be the King of Now.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Balance is the perfect blend. But it is quite possible that we are where we are today, on the positive achievement side of things, are due to unbalanced folks. This is where the notion of 'it takes all kinds' has the ring of truth.