My name's Lon Sarver, and welcome to my blog. It's about imagination and fantasy, and how these enrich our lives.
Without getting too metaphorical or esoteric, I can say this: Everything we have, at least everything that wasn't native to wherever we are before we got there, is a product of imagination. All of human culture started inside the head (or heads, for those things invented independently at different times and places) of someone, somewhen. It was an inkling, an urge, an image before it was manifest. Without imagination, we'd all still be sleeping up in the trees where the lions couldn't get to us. We'd be eating fruit and nuts and grubs and wondering just what the hell Bob meant when he waved his arms and said, "Ook eek ah ah aaaah!"
So thank the gods for imagination. Or, perhaps, thank imagination for the gods; it's a chicken-and-egg problem, really. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
From the ages of ten to eighteen, I lived in a small town in north-eastern Iowa. I can't say that I didn't have friends, but the few I did lived far enough out of town that I rarely saw them, except at school. This made for some long afternoons, which I tended to fill with books. I read science fiction and fantasy, mostly, and encyclopedias and atlases when I was between works of fiction. The practical result of all this was that I was certian that there was something more to life than what I was seeing.
Now, this would seem obvious, given that I was living in a town of about 1500 souls in the semi-rural American midwest. But it wasn't just the feeling that if I got on a bus and rode for hours, I'd be someplace bigger and more exciting. It was the feeling that there was someplace else, just around the corner. It was the feeling that there was a bigger universe, right here, right now, and that there was Something there for me to find.
When I wasn't alone with my books, then there was Dungeons and Dragons. My friends and I played whenever we could get together, though we weren't quite sure what we were doing, at first. After a while, we got the hang of it, and had some very fine adventures, sprawled on each others' living room floors.
Given my proclivity towards fantasy, and my sense that there was something more to the world than I was seeing, perhaps it was inevitable that I'd end up Pagan. By the time I went to college, I'd come to realize that the worlds I imagined from my books and in my games made more sense to me, seemed more relevant to my life, than the Bible stories I heard at the church my family attended. While I never went so far as to take Tolkien's books as religious text, I did feel that something in the myth-patterns in those works seemed more real to me than multiplying loaves and fishes and a world-drowning flood.
Imagine my joy when I discovered that there were people who used the myths from which those fantasies drew their resonance to fulfill their spiritual longings. I found people who approached gods I'd only read about in Bulfinch's Mythology and the Deities & Demigods manual as though they were real, as though they were people with whom I could have meaningful relationships. And, even more, when in the passions raised by chanting and dancing and drumming, I could see that something more I'd always been sure existed, but never quite found.
Imagination has been part of my life for a very long time, and I'm all the richer for it. That's why The Experimental Fantasist exists. Sure, I'll be blogging about genre fiction and role playing games and modern Paganism. Really, though, it's about what's Out There, in the realm of Imagination. It's about how I found it, and what I brought back. And I want to share it with you.