I had an entire reading area in my bedroom as a small child, but I could not read or write properly until I was near nine years old. No, I wasn’t unintelligent, I was actually, as tests would later prove, and much to my parent’s surprise, a gifted student. I was simply more concerned with the stories themselves. I felt for the characters, I feared the villains, I saw where it was possible their world and mine could cross paths one day. Even before I could read I would sit with the books sprawled in front of me, looking at the pictures and either reciting the stories as I’d heard them read by my parents or I’d make up the stories myself putting words and emotions to the images I was given.
But I digress, this is about my belief in and my wild obsession with stories. Let me illustrate. My mother, though a humble waitress by profession, is one of the most well read women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. She knows stories from great literature, mythology, ballets, opera’s. And when I was very little she’d told me the story of Perseus. Most people walk away with some feeling of awe, perhaps, at how he was able to slay the hideous creature, but I thought, well what would happen if I had to follow in Perseus’ footsteps? So, oddly enough, I’d crawl next to my mother whenever she was sleeping, or resting and pretend that she and I were out at sea, trapped in a box. There, the beginning of my training for an adventure like Perseus.
And all the great stories affected me in much the same way. I followed white rabbits, I’d plant every bean I’d ever come across, I even made it a policy to treat all my stuffed animals with tenderness, thank you very much Velveteen Rabbit.
Things didn’t ease up much as I got older. At ten I ‘d begun my reading career primarily with books about Vampires. One of the things I remember reading or hearing was that they have to be welcomed into the home before they could enter. So? I never allowed my parents to have a “WELCOME” mat. “Too dangerous,” I’d mumble.
So what’s all this say? That my imagination is absolutely ridiculously active and that I was quite the odd child? Yes, but also it’s the most tangible evidence that I believe. All the stories I read, the ones worth reading, I give my entire heart to them. I have no shame in it. I love good adventures, and escapes and I let the universe know that I believe such magic exists, somewhere, even if not for me. But always, always with a secret desire that it would happen. Adventures would be mine. I may not have been able to run a lap in PE but God as my witness if I had to get to Mordor with nothing but a loaf of bread, I’d do it. (This one, however, doesn’t require any preparation as Frodo was someone who ate cakes and smoked all day).
Have I grown out of this? Only slightly. This ability to go fall into a fantastical reality is what I hope will get me my bread and butter. How can I tell stories without first falling into their worlds completely? It’s my duty to suspend reason. I mean, I obviously know that it’s not real, but …it could be that I am currently awaiting my acceptance letter to Hogwarts Graduate School for Late Bloomers. You never do know these things…