This week: Don't Be Afraid Of Adventure!Edited by: Kittiara
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Fantasy novels can be inspiring. Who doesn't want to be like the heroes and heroines in our favourite tales?
This week's Fantasy Newsletter is about taking a chance. Just mind those health and safety rules...
When I was a child, I had this fantasy. One day, I didn’t know when, but one day, I would be called upon to enter another world. In my imagination, a wizard type person complete with long beard and robes would stop by, probably in the middle of the night, and tell me a story of woe about his world, a problem that only I could solve.
Please don’t ask me how a shy, awkward child could possibly take on evil forces that not even the population of an imaginary planet could solve. I had read about it in books, and if those kids could do it, so could I. I knew I would get help along the way. A dragon, perhaps. A native child. Fanciful creatures I hadn’t even heard of would become my companions and friends and together we would figure out what to do. Besides, if I were chosen, I would be special. That wizard would know something about me, a certain power or strength that I wasn’t aware of. Wizards like that don’t make mistakes.
I was all set for my trip. I’d packed a bag with all the things I would need in just such an emergency. I can’t remember what I packed, exactly, except that it included a piece of string and a few changes of underwear. You can’t go wrong with those.
I never was visited by the wizard. No planet was in need of rescue. Or, if it was, I must have been fast asleep. It’s a shame. I might have been good at it.
My preparations show the power of literature over the minds of the young and old. Who doesn’t like being caught up in a great, heroic adventure? Even if we’re carried along by the words of a skilled author, we’re momentarily taken away from our own lives, and we join our heroes and heroines on their journey.
I think that when we grow older, our lives tend to become more mundane. There’s the job, the home, the bills, the family, and all our day to day responsibilities that usually include the dreaded dishes. I know that I am less likely to take a risk now than when I was a child. I am all too aware of the many things that can go wrong.
I also think that, deep down, many of us yearn to be free of fear and ready for adventure still. We’re just held back by all the many reasons why we shouldn’t – some of them real, some probably imagined. Why go to a safe, organized holiday resort when you can take to the roads and properly explore a country, or an area? Why go for another job that’s more of the same when you could finally take up that role that you’ve always dreamed of? Why, even, stop yourself from placing that item in your portfolio that’s a bit experimental, or reveals how you truly feel, just in case someone might read it and dislike it?
Don’t be afraid of adventure. If you admire the heroes of your fantasy novels, why not become one? Okay, if you go around your neighbourhood carrying a sword on your back and start bursting into people’s homes looking for trolls, you may have a problem, but an adventure doesn’t need to be all that epic. It can be relatively small, and more in line with current health and safety recommendations.
For my part, I am about to set off on a journey of my own. I’ll be heading to the low lands called the Netherlands, on a quest to meet up with various long lost family members for the very first time. A couple of meetings are with those who have been a part of my life for a long time, and sadly they may be final goodbyes, due to those people’s health issues. There will be tears, but hopefully also smiles and laughter.
It will be a difficult trip. I’ll be flying in a manufactured dragon and I am not keen on lift-offs and landings. I haven’t been back to my country of birth for around nine years, and I’ll have to overcome my nightmares of being stuck there and unable to come back to what I now consider my home.
I won’t be carrying weapons, but I will need courage and determination to see it through. I may even achieve some character development. That would be good.
No adventure is ever easy. That’s what makes them all the more worthwhile.
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