I used to believe in magic. I used to believe in fantastical worlds existing just a veil away, untouchable, yet so easy to fall into if you know exactly what corner of earth to lift up.
I used to wait for hours at the window of my bedroom at night – wait for someone to come and fly me away towards some big adventure. I couldn’t be bothered with love and romance, but I craved thrill, adrenaline, mystery, some great magic that would reveal fire wings on my back.
I was disheartened, at times, by the ordinariness of my days. I had a loving and present family, yet I would lose myself in conversations with imaginary characters plucked from ink-stained pages.
None of it I regret, for that’s what fed my art for years to come and those living characters kept me entertained, my imagination well exercised. But I can’t pinpoint when it all changed.
They say you grow up, grow out of those fantasies, but it feels more like I’ve grown into them.
I still like to talk to characters and invite a forest into my house, I can still see a sword where there was a wooden spoon and a bow that used to be a cloth hanger.
I don’t wait at the window anymore, though. My vivid imagination helps me write stories and find words when I’m stuck on an overly simple sentence. I play out the scenes destined for the blank page on my desktop and the joy of daydreaming joins the rapture of creating something new, something unwritten before.
Where has the restlessness gone?
I used to wish for fair winged creatures to sweep into my room and take me away into the night, declaring that some wonderful world needed my help, maybe confiding that there was magic in me.
I didn’t stop believing in magic, what a sad and dark prospect that of a sceptical life. I found it instead, finally, in the leaves of grass in front of my house.
What’s more magical than life itself, what greater mystery have we ever wondered upon than the reason we walk the Earth?
I found the name for the magical Folk I always was, it floats between Writer and Artist, wilful and presumptuous, sometimes inclined to be called a Philosopher.
I spied the magic in life and started chasing it with laughter and stupor, letting myself be amazed by every dancing colour.
I’m not impatient to be stolen off for some great adventure in some other mystical realm, I’m drinking full hands from the wonders of my time and place. I don’t wish to train with the elves and have sword fights with knights anymore – and it’s not because I don’t wish them to be real any longer, but I found my powers under our own sky and I don’t need wings of fire anymore.
We don’t need to grow out of our fantasies, we just need to grow into our dreams and nurture them so they may grow as well.
I still talk to characters as I write them a home, and they give life to my stories, as nothing is pretended, everything happened somewhere, if only in my eyes. The plot plays out and I don’t need to make it up, I see it unfold in front of me – that’s the gift of those nights, when I waited endlessly at the small window of my childhood.
If we discard our fantasies we are left empty-handed and we have to start over as we grow older and begin to live in the world of grown-ups. But if we aren’t afraid of daydreams, something will come of our running imagination, soon it will find a piece of ourselves, somewhere deep within us, and bring us talents we didn’t expect we could master.
I used to believe in magic and wait for the Faeries to steal me away, but now I weave threads of the magic I found within my own world into inked words freed on a paper.