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Hoist the Jolly Roger!

May 1, 2020

A weekly blog by Deacon Dan Wagnitz for the Quad Parish Community

Hoist the Jolly Roger! – 5/1/2020

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 7 th 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 awhile. 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. Whatever new medicine, new science,
new technology that will help us begin to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us 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.

His Peace,
Deacon Dan

Read More from Deacon Dan's Embers from the Fire