I love listening to soulful, sweeping music. Often on Pandora I put in the Film Scores category, because composers with a story just seem to do so much with the same notes we all have. I am not a huge listener of main stream music, just because of the connection I need to feel. I need to get lost in the music as much as I need to get lost in the book. I need to escape.
I have been escaping into another’s world since the moment I put my first sentence together. My mother, a brilliant scholar who got lost in math, didn’t completely understand my passion, my need to escape, but she supported it. She would religiously take me to the library, often helping me find the books, the worlds I needed to know. And I had to know.
I had to know if I could ride a horse, if I could lunch with royalty, if I could perform feats even before I could drive a car. I needed to understand blind devotion to religion; I had to understand science, math, politics, murder, fear, terror, happiness and devastation. There is no class that can teach you devastation, no teacher of fear, it is something you must find within yourself, in words that great writers can give.
I have experienced many lands, many worlds, many types of song, many types of dance, all in the written word. I have never ridden a flying horse except deep in my own chair; and I have been the beauty my mirror will never see. I have been those moments, and I have lived those breaths, and I cherish each of them.
I have often wondered why I need the escape; the constant escape. I had a childhood, that while not magical was in many ways storybook. My fears came from that which I learned, rather than that which I knew. My happiness was constant, unwavering even in the face of teenage hormones. My life was normal, even when I can never claim to be so. Was the disease I now suffer beginning in the escape I desired?
My escape, my constant need to leave this plane, this minor earth for worlds that do and don’t exist has been as comforting as it has been confusing. There is no rhythm, no reason for why I need to see this world through words rather than the view finder of my camera. There is no cure, and no pill to take. This passion of mine has survived every drug, every drink and every pill that I have ever taken. It has survived the death of love and the birth of perfection. It moves and continues, but it never dies.
Why aren’t those surrounding me suffering from that same desire? Why aren’t those that live such close lives crying out for the same relief? Why is it such comfort to me, yet so mundane to others? Why did God not give me the tools to fly, only the tools to read about it? And if this is part of the madness of my disease, will there ever come a day when I have seen it all?
My worlds consist of the past, the present, and the future. They are filled with people who have lived, and those who have died. They are filled with characters that I will never meet, in countries I will never live, and following dreams I simply do not need. They take me for a moment onto a landscape I did not know truly existed and then leave me to live this life. The worlds that I must escape into must leave as surely as the book will end.
And I need that escape when the world shows me a sunset over the marsh, that only God could have planned. And I need that escape when a child’s laughter fills my halls, like the cello in Bach’s great overture. And as the music sweeps me away, I still long for that page, that word that will make all of my perfect reality disappear.
To survive I must have the written word. Not the music, even though it is sweeping me far away; not the sights that only man has created in his magnificence. I need to write, I need to read, and I need to escape. As the music creates the ease to find the words, and to fall within the dreams of a story I have found on a dusty shelf, I still need to escape. Since my time begun, that escape is all that I have searched for, and all that I have ever coveted. Nobody asks me to fly, because I am already far, far away.