Thursday, 18 June 2015

I have lived a thousand lives

I've been thinking (because I didn't write anything last night and watched an X-Men movie and it wasn't particularly enthralling and I had a beer, all of which is entirely irrelevant - almost) about the importance of stories in our lives, and if they're not a big part of our lives, how important that is, too.

Life's short, but without imagination it becomes immeasurably shorter. Without imagination, intellect and dreaming and looking to the stars are harder things to do. Books are a tool, for minds and learning skills (not just how to think and use language, but sometimes empathy and understanding, too). Without imagination how useful is intelligence and simple learning, even? A person might be fearsomely knowledgable and still never create or innovate or invent.

And life's short, isn't it? I'm talking about books, but it's not just books at all - it's stories and fairytales and the outlandish, science fiction, fantasy - yes. But stories, I think - those are the important things. Otherwise we only live one life, and it's limited to the experience of us, and those around us. Travelling's cool. Education's cool. But with stories we can live a thousand times, and more, and experience another's life, or a bear's life, or an alien or see the entire run of an ancient civilisation, watching like a God from somewhere up above and safe enough in another timeline in our brick-built houses with satellitte television that exists because people invented these things - they had imagination. They strived for something better for humanity. Sure, I'm a hippy. But when those tools no longer teach and become nothing more than a crutch, when humans spend their lives in tedious jobs they hate, stories become more than simple opiates for us: the teeming masses of bored and disatisfied workers.

Imagination can be a form of freedom, and near-immortality.

Yeah, yeah, I'm a boring hippy fart, but the chap who wrote A Song of Ice and Fire (or, Game of Thrones to those initiated in the ways of TELEVISION) said the following, which resonates with me entirely:

'I was born in Bayonne, New Jersey. I grew up in the projects. I never went anywhere. But I have lived a thousand lives and I’ve loved a thousand loves. I’ve walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time. Because I read.'

George R. R. Martin said that. I don't know when or where (might have been in Rretrospective 1 or 2 - great collections and thoughts either way - read 'em!).

Love you! x