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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Make Believe and Fantasy

I always think about the bitter sweet parts of associated with certain aspects of the way some, probably most; Christians celebrate Christmas with their children.  In time it becomes one of the rites of passage into growing up.  As it increases our understanding of the world in general and how it isn't as nice and safe a place as we believed when we were much younger.  It is funny how as a child's mind becomes old enough to understand concepts such as time, and death, that all the more easily the shades of make believe fade away into the stark reality of the so called real world.
In ancient times there were stories of the other worlds, and how as the moments surrounding the edge of night and during the last fragments of such before dawn the portals to which would momentarily be opened for things to pass between the worlds.  The other worlds contained sprites, fairies, dragons and all manner of make believe.  Not by any means a safer world but one of perpetual magic and wonderment.  A reality of stark danger with the adult versions of our childhood fantasies where time doesn't exist.
It has always puzzled me how ancient civilizations all over Earth have Dragons in their mythology.  Always portrayed as large lizards, that can breathe fire, and possess magical abilities.  These mythical beasts exist in pictures, carvings, totems, and legends from times so long ago that nobody can say what was or wasn't.  Did these creatures exist all over the planet at one time?  Or did different civilizations with no apparent contact with each other all make up the same mythological characters, with the same attributes, by coincidence?  If they existed where is the archeological evidence of their existence?  What proof do we have they did or did not truly exist?  We have the pictures, and such mixed with stories and legends about them on the one hand supporting their existence, with no evidence supporting that they ever existed according to science.
Is the popularity of the genre of fantasy and magic an extension of our base desire to believe in what we lost through our rite of passage in becoming adults?  That reading these stories makes our big mean nasty world a bit more acceptable, livable, tolerable, because we can escape through a literal porthole into the neither world of our imagination with our favorite authors as our guides.
I told my wife last night as she was finishing with some Christmas preparations that I was so excited because we were going to have to buy some cookies!
"Why?!"  Her head snapped around looking at me all seriously like me getting my hands on some cookies would be some mortal sin.
"For Santa Claus!"  I stated with a sly grin on my face while trying to play innocent.
"Oh, Yeah."
There are parts of Santa's job I would love to have, like an entire night of eating cookies and drinking milk as you fly around the world giving wonderful surprises to good little girls and boys.


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