And then I decided to listen to the soundtrack of The Ghost and Mrs Muir, which has always been one of my favourite old movies. Because, you know, I do like things where there's a lot of DEATH and LOVE and PASSION and being reunited finally beyond that border, where nothing more can harm and all pains are healed. And even, with an autumnal surge of melancholia, the ones where there is just the grave, just the monument and the shock of recognition of a name, a statue's face -- just the mortal memory, the meeting-again still around the corner, and a long stretch of life till that corner it will be, if indeed the same corner atall.
And yet..."Journeys end in lovers' meetings,/ Ev'ry wise man's son doth know." And they do...maybe that's why I've always recognised it, I've been thinking lately, especially when sharing such a loverly gutter indeed with my beloved Litharriel. Oh right, did I mention? -- soulmates do exist, as do slightly looser groups of old mates that keep turning up again like in a spread of cards. I don't believe that anything is really lost just because death happens to intervene. There are few things more illogical to my mind (let alone my own personal experience) than the materialist idea that consciousness and character simply cease to exist just because the physical body dies -- or even, taking the more religious side, that one chance at life is all that a soul ever gets as a rule, to pass or to fail. I know there's more than that. If anyone chooses to believe in less, then that's their prerogative -- doesn't mean there's actually less there, though.
But anyhow....love, death, memory, coming back.........massive massive amounts of angst.......familiar territory, that, just grown deeper with remembrance.
But pulling back from that particular angle just a little.....perhaps you've noticed it lately, perhaps not, but it's pointedly true all the same: The best fantasy isn't just something to entertain children but rather to make adults remember. Not to escape the harshness of "reality" but to confront it, to take up arms against the insanities and inhumanities of the world -- and by opposing (not-too-obviously) (help to) end them. It is, quite literally, what we "grow up on" -- rather than being kept in the dark and running in the comfortable and well-worn superstitious circles that parents and other well-meaning adults would often like to keep their youth 'safely' within. Reality is bigger than conventionality...and sometimes fantasy is far better at showing reality than reality is capable of showing itself. It slips under the radar of automatic defensiveness, angles the mirror to show more than just the subject at hand, and actually gives some reason for giving a damn without one's own life and/or liberty being directly at stake. Where we don't care, we can't change -- especially not for the better, whether in ourselves or in the state of the world and society.
We need very badly the truths and realizations that go around under the guise of "fantasy" -- the deeper and darker they're growing, the closer they get to what's really there, what has to be found in more than just bright platitudes. The measure of an authentic mythology or a fairytale does not lie in how pretty or how happy it is, but how true it is in essence. And time will tell by its sorting and sifting where the greatest truths reside, no matter how improbable the vehicle.