Where have the dragons gone?
All the dragons are gone and the secret paths are highways; or so I remember thinking once while driving home past a mountain range.
We live in a world where the information-super-highway can give 60,000 studies (on anything you could possibly wonder about) at the click of a button, life plans are tested and accounted for in high-school, and the poetic soul is considered "quaint" (but better if retrained for more practical work). While, this is commendable in terms of productivity; it lends a flatness to our lives.
As a child my backyard was another land, full of mysterious possibilities, but as I grew older the world began to close in on me. Every new place I found was already mapped, sold, allotted a purpose, and duly photographed for Google Maps! There were no places to go forth in adventure. I found myself in a world of definitions and directions. While others buckled down to real life, in desperation, I fled to literature.
I have walked in Lewis' Narnia, faced orcs with Tolkien, lived a bloodline with Brooks, wandered Twain's Mississippi, saw man as monster with Shelly, and soaked my soul in ink.
No fences can hold a reader. No zoning laws can contain in a writer. The boundaries of the mind are limited only by our own will.
So, when the outward has hemmed the traveler in, let him turn to the ever expanding, unexplored inward.