Daily Archives: January 14, 2011

Merely A Wanderer in Faerie-part 2

I don’t know when I discovered Faerie.  Perhaps it was when my mother first started to tell me fairy tales when I was very small, or when I first saw The Little Mermaid, or perhaps it was when I first read The Princess and the Goblin all by myself, or maybe it was the day I first began to tell stories to my toys.  I don’t know but somewhere between infancy and childhood I wandered in and have never come out again.

Melissa also discussed this in her post “Mirror, Wardrobe, or Crossroads at Twilight”. She touch briefly on Lewis’s view of the Otherworld, and I believe that he and Tolkien were very right to say that the Otherworld is the world of imagination.  That is to say, Faerie (which is the Otherworld) is the realm of sub-creation, where all worlds reside, be they fantasy, science fantasy or science fiction.  Faerie is a limitless realm that opens up to those who like to read and write. However, just reading or even writing something does not get one to Faeire, just like playing in wardrobes does not always get one into Narnia.  You have to be called.

I was the kid that would play Narnia in the wardrobe and was always horribly disappointed when it never worked.  The disappointment never stopped me from trying, and in fact I think it actually reinforced the delusion that I could get there. I say delusion because I was coming at it from the wrong angle.  The wardrobe was not the way in, imagination is.  It is somewhere between twilight and belief and the slight squinting of the eyes that one can see Narnia and enter, for as a child Narnia was my Faerie.

Once I learned that Narnia was not the only way into Faerie the wardrobe game did not become obsolete, but it changed.  I did not need the wardrobe, not like I had needed it when I was first trying to get through.  New doorways opened for me.  I could find faerie rings and catch butterflies, which everyone knows is a form of faerie.  I let imagination take me beyond the lamppost into parts of Faerie that Lewis did not write about.

I met Robin Goodfellow in my adventures in that part of Faerie.  I suppose that means that I found the same sort of door that Shakespeare had all those years ago.  It is strange how timeless and free Faerie is.  Robin became my guide.  He showed me how to tame dragons, defeat Smaug, turn invisible, find the lost scepter of the Goblin King, use the ring of enchantments, read the book of magic and all sort of things that would take a lifetime to explain.

It is this wandering that compels me to write.  A lifetime to explain but only a childhood to complete.  But I do not wish my wanderings to end, at least not anytime soon.  I will continue to purposely stand at crossroads at dusk, walk counter clockwise three times around a ring of mushrooms, and I will always wake up a midnight on midsummer night to listen to the faerie dance.  Sometimes if I am lucky I see Robin.  He smiles at me and I know that if I ever get tired of the world, I just need to gaze out into the moonlight at night and have another adventure.  It is the heart that leads one to Faerie; it is believing that keeps your there.