The Line between Reality & the Other World
Updated: Oct 27, 2022
What I want to talk about is something I have been really struggling to put into words lately. Basically, it has been on my mind, and sort of festering in the background as I go through day-to-day life—and finally—it’s bubbled up.
I have loved fantasy—imagination—creativity and all their abundance of goodness since I can really remember. I have always believed that such things are a blessing. We are all created in the image of the Creator, and therefore, we also create. We reflect God’s creativity.
I can’t stress how important imagination was to my development, and in forming who I am today. I was always ‘off with the fairies’ – you know – prancing around in imaginative play, being a fairy-princess, or an astronaut, using my toys as props in epic adventures and heroic quests.
From a very early age, fantasy was my escapism – and my teacher – it was a way that I taught myself how to interact with Reality, by ‘pretending’. By the time I was a teenager, I had immersed myself within the wonders of fantasy and science fiction, however, I was very aware of that important distinction between Reality and Fantasy. Something C.S.Lewis explored a lot in his writings, referring to fantasy realms as ‘Other Worlds’. I appreciated this distinction, and it was of vital importance to me, especially when I was a teen. I was terrified—at the time—of being seen as schizophrenic and tried really hard to show that I fundamentally understood the difference between reality and non-reality.
Obviously, the characters I created weren’t real. Obviously, the worlds in my head weren’t parallel universes and obviously, I don’t actually travel to them. I can still picture the psychologists pitifully looking at me like I’m some unfortunate child trapped in her own fairy-realm.
So, as you can see, that defining line between Reality and Fantasy has been a fundamental part of my life. I did not want to ever break that line, or see that line broken. It separated me, my characters, and their worlds from normality. They stayed in their world, and I stayed in mine. It was all 'pretend' and make-believe, and as real as it often felt to me (and someday, perhaps I'll publish that book about it, about how real and important my characters were to saving my life) - it was just that, it was make-believe.
It was the Other World.
It wasn't Reality.