Of campfires, storytelling and protecting our world
Unplugged from the e-world I got a well needed reminder about the necessities in life. Those daily annoyances, be it internet arguments, a malfunctioning dishwasher or typical midlife worries over life and career choices, all faded away and didn’t seem important anymore.
The more miles we covered, the narrower did my focus become until all that remained were things in my immediate surroundings. I breathed when I needed air. I drank when I was thirsty. I ate when I was hungry. I slept when I was tired and I sat down and rested for a while when my feet hurt. I tended to my blisters. I watched the flowers. I felt the wind, the rain and the sun against my skin. And I walked, oblivious of everything apart from where to put my foot next time so I would be sure not to stumble and fall, because the path was slippery and full of treacherous stones.
It felt as if I’d gone through a long needed cleansing as I returned to our car. I think I was a little bit more vulnerable and a little bit less cynical than normal as I put on my Twitter feed, expecting to catch up on the usual banter about new blog posts or recent releases. What I got was the first news about the shootings in Aurora and I spent the rest of my journey home in a state of shock.
Needless to say my heart is bleeding for everyone who was there and to their families and friends.
But as sad I am over what has happened, as determined am I not to let it take anything away from my love of watching movies in the place where they were made to be seen – in a theatre.
A madman with a gun can enter a shopping center, a concert hall or a museum as well as a cinema. He could even turn up at one of the cabins where I stayed during my mountain trip. A life that is governed by the fear of seeing madmen isn’t a life worth living.
They cancelled the PR event for the European release of The Dark Knight Rises in Paris and I can’t blame them. It would be hard to assemble a festive mood a day like this. But I sincerely hope that the shootings won’t make a single person cancel their plans on watching this film altogether or thinking a second time about going to cinemas in the future for safety reasons.
I’m going to watch it on Tuesday night in company with my family and I’m going to enjoy every second of it, using every ounce of my ability to suspend my disbelief if needed. We’ve got access to a world of magic and there’s nothing a madman can do about it. We’ve got a protective bubble and there isn’t as much as a scratch on it.
I come to think of Nangijala. This is a world described in The Brothers Lionheart, a classic Swedish fantasy novel that also has been made into a movie. The nine year old Karl is suffering from a deadly disease and his older brother Jonathan comforts him saying that after you die, you come to this wonderful place where people still live in the age of campfires and storytelling.
I’m not sure myself about the existence of an afterlife. But I know one thing: we don’t need to go to other worlds to enjoy fairytales in the light of a campfire – or a cinema projector.
As long as there anyone listening, people will keep telling them. Ánd the bad guys won’t win.