Friday, December 5, 2008

Reality Check

So this is going to be a check-up on Maggie's grasp of reality.
Hmmm... open up and say "ahhhh."
Let me check your pulse and blood pressure.

Verrrrry interesting.

All vital signs are pointing to an imminent relapse of irrational desire. Symptoms last seen after the final Harry Potter book, and previous to that, the Return of the King, (if you don't know which series I'm talking about, you may as well stop reading now. It's only downhill from here.) What's the latest trigger? Vampires you say? How interesting.

That's right, I'm talking about Twilight. And I know, I know. We're just going to have to jump over all of the assumptions/eye rolling that just happened because I know. Words like "pathetic," "13 year old," and "pubescent," all just jumped to the foreground of your mind. And yes. I am all of those things. At least mentally/emotionally. Unfortunately, that's only the tip of the iceburg for all of the internal gazing I've been forced to do. I've gotta tell you, gentle reader, I'm Grade-A concerned. I mean, legit worried.

And I think I've been able to boil it down to my exact fear. Now brace yourselves, its going to be a bit of a doozy. Here I go.

I'm worried that I'm never going to feel anything as strongly or as passionately in real life as I am able to in my imagination.

There. It's out there. In the blogosphere.

So I think that I have kind of dealt with this in the past, and just kind of either gotten attached to a new piece of the Fantasy genre or eventually gone back to the monotony. Scratch that. I still watch/read/daydream about all of these things all the time.

The problem is, it isn't about the stories themselves. I loved the Twilight books, although they are definitely not the best written pieces of literature ever. And I would give the movie a B-. I mean, I thought Bella was great, better than I expected, and RobPat NAILED Edward, **swoon**, but they cut out too much dialogue. Whatever. Its not even about that.

For a while, I was wondering if I only loved these things because they were imaginary or impossible. I can't tell you the number of times I have thought and said "why is NOTHING that is cool REAL?!?!" If you've been around me at any length, I'm sure you've heard me utter these words. If not, I've definitely thought them around you. "Why can't at least one of them happen? Hogwarts? The Shire? The Black Pearl? Tattoine? Forks? Not even one? Not magic, nor hobbits, nor pirates, nor the force, nor vampires? NOT ONE?!?" Now that I look at it, I'm not sure these are required to fill the void their stories leave behind. Sure, any one of them would be amazing, but if something like that existed, would I even appreciate it? Maybe it does, but it doesn't seem as fantastic because it is possible.

Lord knows I am beginning to understand the people in costume at the RenFaire (**cough** **cough**,) although maybe not the stormtroopers just yet. And although I poke fun, I begin to realize I am in exactly the same boat they are in. And I suppose that there is a sort of comfort in the fact that other people feel as strongly and as wistfully as I do for stories that are not necessarily ours. The problem is, even if you are dressed in a funny outfit of another time and place, it almost seems like a mockery. It becomes more apparent that no matter how badly you want it, fantasy cannot become reality. The pirate hat is merely a tease. Going with just pretending is not going to be a full solution. at least not for me. Sure its fun, but it doesn't tackle the bigger issue.

No, I think the problem is easier to solve than that. The thing that links all of these imaginary universes together is the emotion the creatures in them feel. All of these stories are epic on some level. Some trial or struggle seems to be taking place. And the characters in them are responsible for way the story will end. To overcome the strife, the characters are tested. They must have bravery, fortitude, creativity, love, faith, strength, imagination. Any number of virtues each of us would want to discover in ourselves.

Maybe the issue is that I haven't been tested. What situation have I been in where I would get to see what kind of person I am? How brave would I be before a dragon? Would I be able to escape a prison to save someone I loved? Could I lead a group of people to their freedom despite all of the odds? Will I ever need to stand against fate for love?

There is one type of challenge that the Frodos and the Edward Cullens and the Jack Sparrows rarely face. The challenge of patience. Of facing monotony and apathy and mediocrity. The fact that some of these heroes are reluctant to go boggles the mind. They always seem to want the calm routine of home. I've seen that part- not so great. The question comes to mind, do they seek their challenges? Or do circumstances present themselves that give our heroes the opportunity to rise to the occasion?

So now, I suppose I must just resign myself to searching for my epic challenge. There must be tales yet to be told that will require the same level of emotion, right? If my choices are moping and daydreaming, or remaining hopeful, the choice seems simple. So now we arrive at the only productive result: resolve. I must use the epic strength of resolve to be patient and not only seek out whatever my own adventure is supposed to be, but also believe that I will find it.

And so, I check my map and compass, adjust my pack. I look around my group of companions with a wry smile and a light joke.

And we set out on the path that ends we know not where.

1 comment:

K said...

Hmmmm....I love you and I'm going to think about this post for awhile. That is all.