When I was younger, one of my favorite past times after a hard day of horse work was to come home and read. My parents and grandparents had been good people who imparted to me a love of words at an early age. I can’t remember a time when sitting in the sun with a good book settled between my legs wasn’t an enjoyment. It would work out the knots in muscles cramped from hours spent in a saddle.
Horse work was a wonderful privilege too, but after some hours sitting astride an animal, it felt good to get a change. God never intended for man to sit on certain bones for very long.
Along with the love of reading came a strong imagination and a love of creating my own stories. When I was a small boy, I can recall the sagas born, nurtured and let loose from the minds of myself and friends. In a time when the deserted block of city – half house, half field – seemed the expanse of an entire world; and when creatures of magic – faerie, elf, gnome, giant – walked the woods a stone’s throw away from my door. It was a time when empires, knights, indians and pirates arose, fought, loved and died before dinner and then it began again each morning. Some of those sagas (the lucky ones at least) found their way to paper.
The world in which I live consisted half of the real world of cars, television and modern bustle; and half in the world where the wildest forms of our imagination took form and walked. The phatasms of the mind were kind enough to relive their lives for our amusement and wonder. We believed every word, and somehow that magic stuck with us.
These changes came slow, so slow in fact, that I don’t think we ever noticed. We grew larger and with physical maturation came the enemy of all that is magical: experience. The magic of belief and the simplicity of childhood came to be just that – simple. Each of my cohort went his own way, trying to meet the needs and navigate the complexity of life.
As in all cases, the search for fulfillment is individual and my friends had to find it for themselves. Some looked for that in education, some in faith, others in interests. But a couple of things remained the same. The inner magic and satisfaction of childhood was replaced with a different, much deep seated need. This is an impossible thing to describe with words – like trying to describe a first kiss or thrill of experienced when you clear your first successful jump on a horse; guttural rumblings just don’t come together right.
But the need is something that everyone experiences some time in life. Some ignore it and move on, some get stuck on it. Some overcome it and find a “still spot” where they have some peace.
I might be an exception to that need. Put simply, I suppose that I never grew up. Much of the same magic and simplicity which filled my life as a child is still here. The imagination, the stories, the fantastic are still just as true. If you can believe it, you can see it. That’s one of the beautiful things about imagination, it opens windows long thought closed and revives friendships long thought dead. So, a word to the cautious reader. All the stories in this “collection” are true. You may not agree with the view, but that does not invalidate the events.
So in the best way that I know how, I extend an invitation. Come sit for a while and enjoy the world as I see it. Let the muscles unknot as you relax, wonder, look and think. Keep in mind, though:
Those attempting to find a motive will be prosecuted;
Those attempting to find a plot will be shot.
Those attempting to find a narrative will be killed until dead.
– The Author
September 15, 1998