Belmont Club

Children Singing

Since the beginning of recorded time men have been visited by dreams.

Sometimes these dreams become imperative. The boundary between the condition of hope and the necessity of will proved porous in the 20th century. The politics, once the province of ordinary life became transcendent. Suddenly people didn’t want just the letters delivered or the peace kept. They wanted more than the boring functions of government; they wanted “living space” and “paradises on earth” and free this, free that. They followed men who promised to give it them. Politics became part of an ‘unutterable vision’ without which the world could not be allowed to continue.

And like a mirage the Dream — at least for millions in the 20th century — vanished. Just like that.

At the end what the Children of the Dream wanted most were a roof; a warm room; and the 101st Airborne to protect them by the lullaby of sounds once familiar before they were in our sophistication pawned to pay for our visions.

“Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon, and the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields. And they’ll be eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”

We will remember the Shire only when we have come within an inch of losing it or perhaps only after we have lost it. What is hope? To a spark flashing through the dark it is remembering that “for that night, we were OK”.

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