12 May 2010

One gigantic fairytale

I loved fairy tales as a child. In the school library, I started at one end of the Andrew Lang books (The Blue Fairy Book, The Green Fairy Book), and once introduced to the Brothers Grimm, started in on their books. At Christmas one year, I was given The Golden Book of Fairy Tales, one of the most magnificently illustrated books ever produced for children. I would pore over the pictures, and lose myself in the detail, in the magic, in the impossible.

And that, of course, is why I don't believe in fairy tales. They are impossible. Survival in my world was predicated on pragmatism and hard work. Still, in the quiet moments, when I couldn't sleep or was riding my bike along my paper route, or was cleaning a neighbor's house, I held out hope for the impossible.

The impossible sort of happened, albeit aided by some pragmatism and a lot of hard work. For a moment, I was seduced, and I allowed for the possibility, and then shook my head and said, You're one gigantic fairytale, and moved on. But the impossible lurks, and I see it in the corner of my eye, and occasionally, it peeps around the edge and winks at me.

You're one gigantic fairytale, I sigh, and go back to work.

And still, I see the impossible shadow run past my window. It appears in the reflection of my computer screen, in a word on a page.

You're..., I start to say, and then I stop to think.

Maybe not.

It's a leap of faith, but I can allow for the possibility, and follow the impossible where it might lead.

I loved fairy tales as a child. But things change, and I've grown up enough to realize that fairy tales aren't just for children. Pragmatism can sometimes be put in the back seat, and the impossible allowed to drive.

Magical thinking, I tell myself in one last grab at the practical, which is currently strangling me like kudzu. Make believe made up in your head.

But I can allow for the possibility.

Go listen to some good music: "Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands" from the album A Hundred Million Suns by Snow Patrol. The endless box parade that haunts my house... oh yeah.

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