““A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”.” – George R.R. Martin
I love to read.
In fact anyone who has been my house would probably say that we have too many books.
I grow up with words, learn lessons of life through the lives of those who don’t exist, books formed the very foundation of my personality and fiction crafted my perception of life. This was how my life has always been, rooted in fairy tales and legends of knights and kings, I always wonder if I would ever grow out of it. I hope I never do.
I have been told that there is no reason to be obsessed with books, that the world I so constantly find myself seeking refugee is often not real. Wizards don’t exist, neither do demi gods nor talking lions, yet the lessons that I have learned through fantasy is more real than any class or tutorial that I have been through. In real life, I had a single teacher for a single class. In books, I learned a thousand lessons through a thousand teachers, mentors and masters. I was their apprentice, a student of Hogwarts, a Half blood in training. My teachers were the characters of the books and their lesson was taught through their own life.
I have watched The Chosen one fight the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters time and time again, I’ve seen his courage and love and it touched me. I learned that that Gryffindor can be wise, Ravenclaws can be brave, Slytherins can love just as well as anybody and Hufflepuffs can become sparkling vampires. Our traits are not based on the house we are put it, they are based on the choices we make. I will always remember that love is the greatest magic of all.
I have seen the Son of Poseidon battle Chronos, I watched him fight his destiny as he struggled to cope with his greatest fears, losing the ones he love. I learned that even in the River of Styx, holding on to the ones we love is what gets us through the hardest and most painful days of our lives. Never forget what is dear to you and never shun out those who care for you.
I have seen the Kings and Queens of Narnia battle against the darkness to fight for their kingdom, I’ve seen Narnia crumble and rise again. I have seen the Magnificent lead, the Gentle love, the Just lose his way, and then find his redemption and the Valiant forgive. I also learned that the world of fantasy will always exist as long as I believe it does, but I fear that one day my mind will be too dulled by reality that I can longer find my way back. When that happens, no wardrobe or magic rings can bring me back.
I have seen the Seven kingdom tear itself apart in the rule of the Child King, I seen the North rise and fall, the dead come back and walk. I’ve seen kings die and king slayers live. I watched heroes die by their honor and man without it drink and live life in pleasure. I learned that every man must die, but first he must live. That we should never forget what we are for the world will surely not.
Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.
I learned that the only time a man can be brave is when he is afraid. And after learning so many things, I learned that at the end of the day, I know nothing.
The quotes of the characters echoes in the back of my head as I pen down my thoughts.
I could go on, I really could, but as my mind drawls to the realm of fantasy, the line between it and reality blurs. Then I start to realise my greatest fear, that one day these lessons will just fade, and that I will forget that they were real, to me at least.
I have been told that is not real. Yet why is that I would cry over the death of these characters that don’t exist, why does my heart sink as I see Harry reveal the memories of Snape? Why do I mourn the death of the Rue and Prim?
Why do I laugh, cry, smile, shudder, swear, and fret with these characters? Why does it feel like I’ve known them all my life?
Why does fantasy feel so real?
That should be bad, really. The boundaries between reality and fantasy fractures each time I dive into a new world and each time I leave I feel that part of me still reminds in that world and the book has become part of me.
I ask myself time and time again could all these be real.
Or is it all in my head…
Yet, what is fantasy if not an imagination of a different reality? Like Albus once said, just because it’s in your head it doesn’t mean it’s not real.
As I struggle to pull myself from fantasy, it seems like reality pushes me back in. I see the struggles of life without magic, I see the pain of the real world without dragons and pixies, I see the mundane world; dull, dark and boring. Reality pushes me back in.
I couldn’t figure out why, each time I go back I feel as though life has something to say. Is it telling me to run from it?
I look at the heroes in the books. What made them strong wasn’t the powers they wield but the courage in their hearts.
What made them loved is the fact that they dared to love, to show compassion and to let themselves be vulnerable.
What made them conquer endless foes wasn’t that they were unafraid, but rather despite their fear, they did it anyway.
Reality didn’t push me in fantasy to run from it.
It pushed me in to learn to overcome it.
And once I became aware of that, the blurred lines disappeared altogether, it’s when I realise that now I live in both worlds.
You can call me childish for believing in fantasy.
After all, fantasy is part of my reality, and I don’t intend to change that about me.
Because if you never read, you will never see the world the way we do , you will never be able to stretch your imagination beyond what it is already is, and I promise you, life will never be as beautiful as it can be.
If being childish is the price I pay, then I would gladly pay my debts than to live forever a poor and boring life.
To all, I hope you find a good read this week