Ya tells me on a regular basis that I have “too. much. imagination.” Sometimes she even adds, “Too much, Jen, too, too much.”
I live a part of my life in other worlds, in the imaginations of other people. When I read a book, a world opens up in my mind and I can actually imagine whole other places and adventures in my head. I get drawn in and occasionally, it’s hard for me to come back out to reality. But I always know that at the end of my day, no matter what happened to me that day, I can come home and spend a couple of hours in some other world.
Tonight, after finishing another book, I picked up The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I have to admit that I’ve avoided this book for pretty much my entire life. As a kid, my sisters loved the movie and after having to watch it repeatedly, I grew to hate it. So I decided that I would never read the book. Until recently, in a land called Thailand where English books are not only hard to come by but very expensive, a copy of The Neverending Story ended up on my bookshelf.
I picked it up tonight and seven pages in, came across this:
“If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger–
If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early–
If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless–
If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won’t understand what Bastian did next.”
A couple of pages later, this:
“I wonder,’ he said to himself, ‘what’s in a book while it’s closed. Oh, I know it’s full of letters printed on paper, but all the same, something must be happening, because as soon as I open it, there’s a whole story with people I don’t know yet and all kinds of adventures, deeds and battles. And sometimes there are storms at sea, or it takes you to strange cities and countries. All those things are somehow shut in a book. Of course you have to read it to find out. But it’s already there, that’s the funny thing. I just wish I knew how it could be.”
And I’m hooked. 🙂