Sunday, November 4, 2012

Without Faith Leaves Only Doubt

"Like Daniel Boone, to whom I have compared you before, you shun the company of other people, but not all the time. And remember that even Daniel Boone had a Mrs Boone and a lot of little Boones."
-a definition of "Boone Syndrome," according to Lobsang, from The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.

Sometimes, when reading a new book, I find it alludes heavily, not to the world I live in, but to the world I want to live in or the world I ought to live in. It's an interesting and unfortunate circumstance. The Long Earth is one of these, clearly, else I wouldn't have brought it up.

I write for two primary reasons: to create other worlds that I can inhabit for the duration of my time spent creating, writing, and reading them, and because I'm terribly at other artistic methods of creating such worlds. That's as simple as it gets.

I don't like this world. If there is magic, it has hidden itself so well that I have no hope of finding it, not for the sake of using it or having access to it, but just in knowing it's there. I have read too many fictional accounts where common folk imagine themselves into worlds of magic, be it Rowling's Harry Potter, Grossman's The Magicians, Lewis's Narnia, McCaffrey's Pegasus In Flight, or any one of many vampire stories. The problem with these stories is that all the writers imagine themselves to be in the two-percent of people who know it exists, live wholly within the magical knowledge, and take to it like a duck to water.

That's not what I want. I'm content to be a muggle, as it were, but sufficient to know that magic does indeed exist.

I don't like this world. If there is wonder still remaining, it takes money or a high-and-mighty degree to have the opportunity to feel it, without even actually feeling it.

It's too much to ask for something interesting to happen, without me going and questing for something interesting.

Faith is not something that's ever worked for me. If it exists, I should be able to touch it or feel it. I can feel my dreams, even as they always seem to just slip through my fingers. And the rate at which they do so is unaffected by how hard I try to hold onto them. All too often I hear quotes regarding "the harder to you hold onto something" and how quickly you lose a grasp of it. Not so in my case.

I need a world where I am not reduced to making up stories and hiding in my room, not from people, but from civilzation. But that world, I fear, doesn't exist on this planet anymore. I'm partially inclined to go and build me a Stepper, and wish that it actually works. But such things always have the fine print that says "if you don't have the faith that it will work, regardless of how hard you wish it to work, it won't work."

For me, it will never work.