“The old faiths light their candles all about, but burly truth comes by and puts them out.”
What I like about fairy tales is, no matter how difficult the problem is there is always a solution. You always find a witch at a steaming cauldron making a magic potion, a wizard in a far away land who has a magic carpet rolled up in the attic, a spell that can come to the rescue and true love, which always conquers. Yes, there are dragons, curses and evil stepsisters too but according to G.K Chesterton “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
This idea that evil can be defeated is what makes fairy tales more alluring. Their contradiction to real life is what makes us want them to be true. They say faith can be as much powerful as any magic in the fantasy realm, but the problem with that is…..faith in the real world is always confronted by the bitter truth.
Each year when I blow out the candles on my birthday cake, I make a wish. This year, I realised I won’t be doing that anymore. When you make a wish, you have to believe with your whole heart that it is going to come true – which is faith. I would love to have faith. Faith serves so many good purposes in life, but when you know that real-world truth stands opposite to your convictions…..we fall from grace. Just like I would blow out my candles without a hope or a wish, this time. This emptiness drains me of the power to fight my fears, troubles and inner demons.
I failed at fighting the evil which made someone I love, hate me forever. I never imagined such would be the dragons in real life. That they would take over every faith and truth I possessed. But I still believe G.K Chesterton is right. The essence of every fairy tale is that evil can be defeated, monsters can be beaten and happiness can be restored. Heroes of these tales always meet a test of faith, a test of love and a test of life. And the brilliant thing is they always pass. They stay true to themselves and their hearts, and recognizing that, the supernatural comes to the rescue of the wrongly accused, unjustly treated and the suffering innocent. Someone somewhere gives them a magic sword, and tears of an aching heart have the power to wake the sleeping giants. This is why I still love fairy tales despite being an adult. When we were younger they taught us truth always wins. When we grew up they taught us, it happens only in fairy tales.
I dream of such a place. Where truth isn’t mere perception and victorious evil. Where, when hope is summoned…..its not defeated in a dragons den.