February 26, 2012

Dalliances & Daydreams

Once upon a time, there lived a young girl who everyone remarked as being ‘very strange’.  She would often lie out in the grass behind her house, watching the sky change from one shade of blue to the next throughout the day and the clouds lazily floating by overhead, all the while daydreaming of fantastic things.  Sometimes she would dream that she was a princess locked away in a castle awaiting her chance to escape into the forest and begin a grand adventure.  Other times, she would dream that she was a pirate with a treasure map in search of wealth beyond all imagining.  When she was particularly driven, she would create such a map and enact this dream out at a park, or pick up her toy bow and arrow set to become a wayward wonderer not unlike Robin Hood.  During the summer, she would wander up and down the lane at her grandparents’ farm and all over the tall grass and fields, pretending to be lost or traveling to exotic lands.

While she loved these games, nothing seemed capable of sating her appetite for adventure.  She could imagine grander and grander things, but always she knew she was still in her own backyard, or at the park, or at her grandparents’ farm, far away from the things she was dreaming in her mind.  As the girl grew older, the spark which lit her creativity began to dwindle.  Adult responsibilities were draining away the fuel which always flowed so readily as a child to take her to amazing places and enable her to do amazing things.  The girl began to despair and lament that loss.  She wished and wished in her secret heart for something that could restore her dreams and fantasies, all the while knowing that one day she would have to leave that world behind and have no more adventures.  The magic of childhood would soon fade away forever.

One particularly dreary day, while the girl was searching for something to inspire her once again, she discovered a strange book on the shelf in her parents’ library.  The book had always been there, but it had always somehow gone unnoticed until now.  At first the girl had no idea why this book should be on her parents’ shelf.  It looked like a terribly evil book, depicting an enormous red, horned demon standing behind a bubbling cauldron which spewed forth some toxic cloud of steam as it rested upon a blazing fire.  Her parents had never struck her as the kind of people to buy such a book.  Perhaps it was because of this that her curiosity got the better of her.  What was this book with the strange depictions and provocative title?  Why was it here?  Her heart hammered excitedly within her chest as she slowly opened the cover and turned the first few pages, examining the text for some sort of answer to her bountiful questions.

Much to her dismay, the text was unintelligible.  It spoke of strange terms and rules of which she had never heard of and only managed to confuse her the more she read.  Before she had the chance to delve further into the pages in search of some form of key which might break the cypher, she heard footsteps coming from the other room.  Knowing that she didn’t want to explain why she had removed the secret book from its place on the shelf, she quickly replaced it and pretended to be interested in a different book from a different area of the library.  The praise she received for wanting to read classic literature quickly overshadowed her curiosity and the forbidden book would remain where it had been found, not quite forgotten but no longer a temptation in her mind’s eye.  After all, why would she want to read a book full of gibberish, even if it had begun to fan the flames of her old childhood spark?

Many years would pass by and the girl grew older.  Solace had been found in books for a time and then in a magic box which brought the world to her doorstep.  The girl had fallen in love with the box from the moment when she realized the extent of its possibilities.  Suddenly, she could travel to the exotic places she had always dreamed of going and she never had to leave her home.  She could have conversations with real people from all over the world, she could spend time with her friends even if they weren’t allowed to come to the house, and she could read and learn from pages and pages of information at her disposal; a plethora of options that had never been available to her before.  It was as if someone had taken a look inside of her head and turned it into a physical device which made all of her dreams come true.  The girl had no idea that the box was a sorcerer’s trap.  It was silently killing the flame inside of her under the guise of an accelerant, promising to engage her imagination and all the while causing her to forget how to create things on her own.  The magic box may have succeeded altogether, if not for a rather fortuitous meeting.

The boy had been sitting in front of her in school all this time, but she had never really noticed him.  Even though they often discussed classwork together to try to better understand it, the girl had simply never paid much attention to him.  It wasn’t until she discovered that he could recite the poem to one of the classic books which she had read, a poem she knew all too well from her own memory, that she really noticed how similar the two of them were.  The boy began to tell her of a place where she could go on the magic box where there were others like them.  He convinced her that she would fit in and be welcomed upon her arrival.  And she was.

The people of this mystical land, founded within the magic box, were adventurers not unlike herself.  They had learned how to build vast worlds, cultures, societies, and creatures using only the power of their minds and words.  The girl fell in love with this mystical land and the people who cultivated and cared for it.  As time went on, she learned that they too knew of the secret forbidden book which she had found years ago.  They possessed copies of their own and agreed to teach her how to read and understand it.  They planned a time to meet in person and gathered at the girl’s home where they talked at length about the meaning of the secret book and the possibilities which dwelt within.  They taught her how to read it, to use it, and to manipulate it so that she could possess its power rather than becoming enslaved to the strictures of the rules set in place within its bindings.  Most importantly, they reminded her of how much she loved to create things within her own mind and to hone the blade of her imagination, keeping it ever sharp and at the ready for what lay ahead of her in life.

From that moment on, the girl never dreamed of being locked away again and never felt the grief of imminent loss that should have come with adulthood.  She had been set free by the powers of the forbidden book and the people she had met through the magic box.  That is not to say that she never had her moments of doubt, that she never questioned the path which she had taken, or that she never suffered because of her freedom, but only that those things have always paled in comparison to what was gained.  The girl had become a powerful woman who possessed the magic of childhood, and she knew in her secret heart that there was nothing she couldn’t do.


  1. I vaguely remember you saying you had no time for this

  2. I have three papers to write, a ton of research to do for tomorrow, a five DVD set series to watch and write two 5 page papers on by Saturday, and posting to do in my online class.

    And you know that I procrastinate, what do you want from me?