There was a tale of two cities/a galaxy far far away/star crossed lovers/a magical tree/a little girl, sat beneath a window as the sun streamed through, making rainbows dance across her pages, oblivious to the sounds of home that surrounded her real world self.
If her mum had remembered to leave one nearby, she would reach for an apple and absentmindedly munch away as she grew dizzy with the story held within her hands.
When things outside threatened to enter this bubble, she could just keep reading into the night, because when you don’t fall asleep, you don’t have to awake to a non-magical reality.
What power, that of the story teller. The cuentero. The palabrero. The pütchipü’ü. They prepare us from when we are small to believe in magic, and act as intermediaries between warring factions. They create nations for which we would lay down our lives, and provide us with the rhetoric to believe we have won. Without them, there would be no ‘we’ or ‘us’ (more on this later), and we would struggle to define a ‘me’ or ‘I’. Look at job applications, journal submissions, conference presentations, and interviews. A pen portrait is often required; a story of your life as you would like it to be remembered. The limit is your imagination and the mission statement of the company you are applying for.
All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
T. E. Lawrence
Once you are primed to believe that magical things can happen, it is up to you whether you dream by night, or become a dangerous woman and act upon your dreams.
The fun part *grins with pained delight*, is when you do that, and then are not really sure where it is that you have got to, and where to turn next.
I have recently arrived in a new city. I got here following a dream that I pursued doggedly across the world. In the meantime, I had adventures, met new people, learned new languages, then turned my back, and exited stage left.
So this will be a story of following dreams. It doesn’t pretend to reach the heights of Dickens, Lucas, Shakespeare, Blyton, Ende, or Mieville (although they will all feature), but stone tablets have got a little tricky to carry around, especially on a bike, and I need a way to sift through memories, decide on next steps, and find a way to bring that cast of characters back onto the stage in the next act.