fighting off fantasy

I’ve loved L. Frank Baum’s work for a long time. Part of that journey and experience, however, was the illustrations that came with those books. The drawings are wonderful, a 20s remix of art nouveau and traditional fairytale illustration, full of beautiful youthful people with clear skin, long flowing hair, flowers, and long loose robes. The power of both the books and art was that it transcended the groan and dull of reality. Only beautiful things exist within those creations, with a golden luxury of youth and sense of immorality. It’s the sort of work that makes you forget about all the gritty, ugly details of existence. It’s fantasy, pure and simple.

But why do we care? Why do humans find things beautiful? Why do we long for beauty, and in the end, what is it, really? These are all questions philosophers and scientists debate. It’s okay to desire beauty. Desiring and wanting the attractive things of life is a primary human complusion, it’s not necessarily wrong. However, beauty is important as an extra layer of the cake. Fantasy isn’t inherently wrong, many wonderful things and experiences can come from it.

However, we need to remind ourselves what is fantasy and what is reality. Don’t give up your life for fantasy. Don’t get so caught up in the what-ifs you give up on it ever becoming more than that! Let it be the motivation, not the primary activity of your day.

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