When stories burn with life and pulse with magic
It is pure magic when a book comes alive in your hands. The adult steps aside in these moments, and the child that we were, the child that remembers magic, steps in and delights in it.
I just finished a book that has inspired this post today. Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon. I read it years ago and never forgot the book – or maybe the book never forgot me. I am not going to get into a review of it because the book is too alive. I’ve recently discovered that you can’t review living books fat and full with magic. That discovery came with the last couple of books I’ve read.
I tried to sit down and type out my reviews of Boy’s Life and before that, Black Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey that held me fast with their magic. But you can’t reign magic in. Once you try to define it, it eludes you – magic can’t be described, it can only be felt. To review these stories, to tie them into a summary and make judgement upon them is to dismiss their aliveness. To put to words the who, what, why and when of the story is to strip it of its wonder and magic. That is a cruel thing to do to such a story, don’t you think?
I have thought on why some stories stay with you, days, months, years after you’ve read them. Why they won’t let you go. These thoughts have been with me the last couple of days as I think on the power the two stories I just mentioned have over me right now. Each story spoke to a different part of me. Boy’s Life wound its tendrils of imagery and magic around the little girl within. It brought out her spirit and these last couple of days this little girl remembered what it was like to run wild with horses, what fairies look like in the sunlight and how to battle monsters.
The other book, Black Feathers, spoke to the ancient goddess within. The primal being, the earth mother, the one that is waiting to bust out and illuminate and heal the world of it’s despair and pain.
How can a story have such an effect on a person unless it is alive and pulsating with energy? These living, breathing stories weave into the very heart of you and become a part of your existence and you swear you’ve lived the experiences of the story within. They effect you, bring tears to your eyes, make you laugh, make you rage – you come undone when you read these types of stories. For the briefest moments in time, you are unmade and the possibilities of what you can become are limitless. These stories make you remember who you are; wilderness and spirit in human form – children of magic.
I read Boy’s Life about 10 years ago and never forgot it. I remember loving it, I remember enjoying the story and feeling I had when I read it – that the story was an experience of discovery. But I couldn’t remember what it was about. Every once in a while throughout these 10 years, the book would pop in my head and finally, only a week ago I bought it. I knew the story wasn’t going to let me go because it had something to say to me again after all these years – it beckoned me to come back for another visit. So I listened. And what did it have to say?
Well, that’s between me and the story – but boy, what an adventure we had.
Posted on June 30, 2013, in Geeking Out, General Musings & Thoughts and tagged Black Feathers, books, Boy's Life, joseph d'lacey, magic, reading, Robert R McCammon, stories, storyteller. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.