Lose yourself this Christmas…
So it’s that time of year when we lose ourselves in fantasy once more, in a world full of magic, father Christmas, a stack of books on your bedside table, Harry Potter on television, the Hobbit on the big screen. I love fantasy; love the escapism, the comfort blanket. Because whilst fantasy is often full of dark, terrifying forces, it is also a world where there are clear rules, a demarcation between right and wrong, good and bad. Whether you’re Harry Potter or the Hobbit, your life may be in danger, but you can be fairly sure what you need to do to succeed in your quest. You need to be brave, you need to be good and strong, you need to think for yourself, trust your intuition; you need to heed advice, you need to be humble when required, you need to be loyal and kind and you need to be focused. If you can be all of those things, the likelihood is that you and your friends/acquaintances – whether human or dwarf/elf/other fantastical creation – will be okay. The ring will be protected, the evil sorcerer will be slain, or at least batted off for the time being.
The trouble is that real life isn’t quite so clear cut. You can be good, follow all the rules and still end up losing the battle. You can make bad decisions and have good luck. You can try really hard but break some rule you didn’t even know existed and suddenly no one wants to talk to you. In real life there’s no one showing you the way, no omnipotent power who believes in you and who appears from time to time to give you renewed courage and determination. In real life there are no guarantees, there’s no clear direction and, probably, no point, which is a little bit… scary really. Of course it’s also much more interesting that way; with no clear path to follow it’s left to us to figure things out, to work out our own path, to learn to shrug when things go badly and take a new path instead, to learn from our mistakes whilst accepting that others may not learn from theirs.
But every so often, and particularly around Christmas when we all suspend disbelief and will ourselves to believe in magic, when we dangle angels from trees and put reindeer food in the garden, there’s no harm in escaping into a world where imagination runs riot, where good always conquers, and where you know you about to be taken on an absolutely incredible journey.
So happy watching, reading or just imagining… And have a wonderful Christmas