Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Wounded Imagination

As a little girl, I lived in many different worlds.  Whether it had to do with books read out loud at bedtime, loving parents, the space to be myself, or going to sleep still reeling from stories of MacGyver and Trixie Belden...well, I don't know.  But many different worlds all belonged to me, and I belonged to them.  My favorite was a simple fantasy that left its marks.

I believed--without doubt or suspicion--that there was an entrance to a world somewhere not too far away, one way that I could simply stumble into.  There, all of the characters I knew from film and tv and cartoons were real, and they watched our worlds and others on their own televisions, assuming they had them.  Of course, stumbling into one world meant you could no longer exist in the other.  And certainly, you could never go back, stumbling or otherwise.  For a very very long time, the world inspired me and saved me in turns.

Some few years ago, I saw previews for a movie called Enchanted, and I was terrified of all it could be...or not be.  And so, thrilled at the possibility that someone else might have brought to film some shape of ideas I'd once thrived on, a character from elsewhere finding this world in the reverse of what I'd once imagined, I went to see the movie...and was heartbroken.  You see, it immaturely mocked, and attempted (in my mind) to ruin what I'd once known so well.  Piece by piece, it picked apart some of the magic I grew up with.  From what I remember, it got lousy reviews, and though I put little faith in critical acclaim, I'd say  that that's for the single fact that the filmmakers underestimated the power of imagination, and the bravery of children, and the potential for adults to still believe in fantasy.  I left the theater in tears, heartbroken, angry, and more disillusioned with the wrong power of hollywood than I expected.  The emotion was for myself and lost potential, and for the kids who I thought would never find what I grew up with, because a movie ruined it for them before it ever began.  Certainly, the world and magic from my childhood wouldn't disappear from memory, but I never expected that they could be remembered with all of the splendor I thought was lost in that theater.  After all, how could I think back to them without being touched by the ruin of that disappointment which had so much untouched potential?  I didn't expect the magic of that world to reappear with all of its grand force, ever.

And yet, this week, it was brought back by the same medium that tarnished what I thought to be untouchable.  After putting it off for a very long time, perhaps in part because of the disappointment noted above, I began watching Once Upon a Time.  Now, no television series or movie can fully ruin or recreate the imagined world of a young girl lost in her own creations.  But watching the first episodes of Once Upon a Time, I began to re-believe in the magic of film, and to see the potential and possibility of that art which I'd lost the magic of in a quick and irreverant mocking of imagination.  I don't know--and nor do I really want to, truth be told--whether the creators of Once Upon a Time saw Enchanted, and were inspired to eventually fix that undone magic that I must believe others imagined along with myself.  But, if they did, for this viewer at least, they succeeded, and fixed in place some magic of their own.  And, I don't know whether the future episodes will stand up to the magic set forth in the beginning, even the ones which aired a year ago and I've yet to see, but what's already done is created, and the magic in my memory is no longer wounded, which I'll be ever thankful for.

So, here, at this point I begin.  And this won't be a blog of fiction or poetry, or hopefully even of what you might expect, even from an odd creature like me.  Simply, here, I aim to celebrate the magic of imagination, and the glittery potential of our thoughts, which we too often forget.