I thought to write on the topic of running away. It would be a ‘serious’ entry, so I ran it by The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections for their thoughts and approval. Herbert, the archivist, reminded me I did something like this in 2012. I could not interpret this as ‘ja or nay’ so I went ahead with it. It’s been on my mind anyway. Spo

Back when I was smaller and people were taller I often longed to run away. Sometimes this was a positive longing to see far-off better-than-this-place lands. If Alice, Milo, Lucy, and Dorothy could do it, why oh why can’t I? Most of the time it was a negative desire. It came up whenever could not bear being part of the general idiocy and disappointment that was reality. It had an element of cowardice to it. Rather than face my fears (school, state, nation, the world) I would withdraw and not deal with any of it. I would fall into a book or go the inner compartment of my mind where no one has ever entered. 

The emotion to run away and withdraw has been lately stronger than ever. I felt after the last presidential election things were getting a little better but they have not. I don’t have data to support this, but I sense it is only going to become worse. The desire to close the door, lock it from within, and throw away the key is as strong as it has ever been. 

I call this complex “The Dark Fairy”.  In many fairy tales and stories there is some magical malevolent entity or people calling the protagonist to join them in their land, of so different and faraway from here. The Odyssey has The Sirens. The Japanese have Yuki-onna, the Snow Woman. Here are some examples in poetry and song:

From the poem “Stolen Child”, by Yeats:

‘Come away, O human child!

To the waters and the wild

With a faery, hand in hand,

For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.’

The movie ‘Hocus Pocus’:

‘Come little children 

I’ll take thee away 

Into a land of enchantment 

Come little children 

The time’s come to play 

Here in my garden of shadows.’

Curious how many of these calls involve music and singing, and a sort of hypnotism. No matter how alluring it sounds, one should not go that route.  Succumbing to the sonorous sounds of The Dark Fairy does not result in peace but madness or death.

Milo, Alice, Dorothy, and Lucy all come back from their escape from boring problematic reality to see ‘real life’ better than they thought it was. That’s the right way to withdraw. You return, you don’t stay there.  

“Well, I would like to make another trip but I really don’t know when I’ll have the time. There’s just so much to do right here” 

Emerson said “Always do the thing you are afraid of” and Marie Curie said “Nothing in life is to be feared but understood”. May their bright songs outsing and outshine the call of The Dark Fairy and her ilk.