I never did stop escaping. A sensitive little girl, a face and a voice unkind: I escaped. I never did stop escaping.
I am safe and loved in this place in the sky. I am safe. And I am loved, so loved, without a thought, without a care. I am me, and this is the sky. We are here. We are here.
I never did stop escaping. All around the children played. They showed me their world, and I made it what I needed it to be. I made it magic and I made it kind. They didn’t know their world was magic and kind. I did. I knew.
This is where my real friends live, where my heart lives. I can make the world what I wish it to be, here. The unkind of the outside feels like ice on my skin. I wish only for sun. I ask only for sun.
I never did stop escaping. They called me names, they spat on me, and for those moments I was there. But I never did stop escaping. I never did stop escaping.
This is where I am. This is me, so beautifully. The deepest ocean, the saddest stream. This is where I am.
I send a text message to a friend: a message that warms my heart because I’ve said something that fills me with all the lovely things.
In my mind, I see my friend receive the text message. She smiles.
In my mind, we have just shared the most BEAUTIFUL tender moment together.
To me, this is my reality.
But that’s the thing, isn’t it?
I’ve constructed the entire story beyond reality as I truly know it to be.
The reality is that the actual version of events may have gone something like this:
I send message. Smile (all the lovely things, la la la.) My friend receives the message. My friend is emotionally triggered by something I have lovingly communicated in the message. They are not on the same page as I am. Not even one-little-bit.
Oh my goodness. Youguys. Do you see what horror I have to put up with in this random little world of mine? How is a dreamy, love-hearty girl like me to deal with such a stern and logical talking to by the invisible powers that reside within? Lessons on how to live in the moment. Lessons on how to tear the dreamy light out of my eyes?
I’ve had thousands of best friends and hundreds of mortal enemies.
I’ve been married a hundred times and divorced a hundred times more than that, probably. I’ve had lovers aplenty, built homes, mucked stables…and all this time, I’ve insisted I am an alone person. Oh no. I have never been alone, not for a day of my whole life long.
Books are sneaky like that, aren’t they? They introduce us to friends as real as the ones that stand before us, and they break our hearts just as deeply as a lost real-life love might. Books are a powerful force, and they are as real as reality itself: because, actually, what is reality? Our mind’s perception of a scene laid out before us.
That description of reality sounds an awful lot like our experience of a book, don’t you think? The difference being: a book gives us longer to sit within the scene and hold it up against our real life for review. True reality, in contrast, usually comes and goes in a flash.
I invite you to open your mind and your heart to the idea of a book and its characters being as real as any other aspect of reality. Think of how beautifully full life would be if we all embraced that idea. No one would ever be lonely— our books would see to it that we’d have a friend for every day of the week, or at least for whenever we really wanted one.
Think of a book as another room in your house, a room filled with the most beautiful, quirky, joyful friends you could ever wish to find. That’s what I’m going to be doing from now on. And that’s how I know that I’ll never truly be the alone person I always thought that I was.