I woke up from a light sleep last night and began thinking about what many people draw into when they are under duress: escape.
When I read many pieces of children's literature, often in the main character there is a sense of suffering, of loneliness and of heartache that the reader relates to on a deep level that endears us to them.
Then the character is given a freedom that no other child is able to receive: a world of escape.
I love escaping. Be it "holing up" by not answering the phone and staying home, a guilty pleasure, a weekend getaway, these things we do recharge us and bring us refreshing. But these peices of literature I am talking about in the Narnia series, the Land of Oz books, or Alice In Wonderland, is a place where a child who has no power is given remarkable control over their world, finds friends who love them deeply and they love in return, and becomes able to rise to a challenge they never imagined themselves they could face.
Sounds like heaven. My family faced adversity every day, and escape for my wife and I has become a spiritual discipline. Harry Potter's world is my hope for a brighter future. Hogwarts express is the way to get there, taking you away from powerlessness, from unending suffering. our favorite silly things become our couple's retreat. 30 Rock on television, Extras from BBC, these are also our wonderlands. A sense of heaven in them , not in the content themselves (which many religious people I know would spew the coffee they are drinking right now if they read that!) but the ability to help us laugh through suffering, to cling to hilarity and to hope for a world that is a bit brighter because people cared to take you way from it for a little while.
Escape from this world is a good thing when you are suffering and your heart is heavy. But as in the books, one cannott stay there in the place of escape. In fact they often must choose to return to reality, with not much to bring with them except perhaps for a reminder of the time they had away. So it is with me. I must return, but in my heart, the world of escape gives me hope to return to face another day.
Anyhow, just some thoughts.