The Spark

As long as I can remember I’ve loved making up stories. It’s never mattered much whether I wrote the stories down, or whether I remembered them, particularly, though as I’ve aged my ambitions have grown and I do tend to write a lot more down than I did when I was, say, ten.Long long ago, when my LEGO castle was much more primitive than it is right now, there was the land of the Ninja Knights (for some reason I really liked ninjas back then), whose castle was at the top of a completely vertical cliff (i.e. a dresser) which could only be descended using a secret passageway, and the attacking hordes of slugs and socks were always brutally defeated.

(Then it turned out that the slugs and socks were actually from another dimension, and they returned there, to Slugtopia, where they were at war with a race of Freaks (invented by my brother) who ended up slaying Red Slug and taking control of the surface (though the underground tunnels were never completely cleared). That morphed into the land of Wadish Rac, which was as you might have guessed more of an absurdia than a real mythical world.)

And then when I was in seventh grade, I had the plot of a three-volume fantasy epic planned out. It had something to do with phoenixes, reincarnation, and parallel timelines. The “Phoenix Warrior” was the hero who would always be reincarnated when his people were in danger. He led his people by boat from the eastern shores of the continent, where they were persecuted by the evil Sea-raiders. Then a thousand years later or so he was needed again to defend the great city he had founded, and then a thousand years later he had to go to the island of the Sun to retrieve some sort of phoenix egg. Or something like that, I’m not entirely certain how it all worked. That’s as much as I can remember, and only about half of it is entirely correct, probably.

Then I started playing Wesnoth, I started writing campaigns for Wesnoth, and before I knew it I had started work on Orbivm. I now have not only the world of Orbis Terrarum (which is complicated enough) to work on, but about three other stories of varying complexity that I mean to eventually write, each of which will require at least a novella in length, and a bunch of short story ideas.

Anyway, the point of this discussion is that I have always put a great deal of energy into mythopoeia. At different stages in my life it has possessed me to varying degrees; now it is probably stronger than any times previously. And I wonder what I would do if I did not put all of this energy into it. I don’t understand how other people go through life without desiring to write stories – or make music, or draw art, or explore mathematics. I know that many people do have that desire, and some do and some don’t act upon it; but what of all those who do not?

This lack of desire seems completely foreign to me. Yet people with just such a lack certainly seem to be the majority. So I ask: What exactly do these people spend their lives doing?

I understand that the banalities of life easily eat up time and don’t leave a lot of it free to do stuff like write stories. But I simply can’t see living that boring a life with no attempt to break free. I’m imagining the life of some random grunt worker, blue or white collar, and wondering how I would not go insane living that life. So tell me: is it that these people actually do something interesting that I just don’t see, or is it that life really is that boring for most people and they just accept it? And if so, how do they manage to do it?


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