Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

after the Eclipse July 2, 2010

The problem with spending time in a fantasy world is that sometimes it’s very hard to leave and return to the world of reality.

I have a friend who was raised in a huge Catholic family. Her dad was an illiterate farmer. He valued farm chores. He did not value education, and he especially did not value reading. Being discovered shirking one’s chores with a book was asking for a beating. I can kind of appreciate the anger. When your children have escaped into a book or movie, they are out of your control. They are being exposed to ideas that may differ from your own. A lot of people fear ideas that are different from their own, and that is why we have censorship. Ideas are free. Control is not.

I came out of the Eclipse matinee today, lost in the world of love, hard decisions, glorious Pacific scenery (the very roads of the Fraser Valley that we were driving last spring break), and the passions of youth. I have felt a little bittersweet all day, as I fight not to go back and read through the series again. (I just read them all last weekend for about the twentieth time, afterall, and I watched the movies 3X this week already).  My emotions have been highjacked by Twilight again.  It doesn’t matter that it has been a long time since I was engulfed in those passions of new love and the difficult decisions that last a lifetime, but it doesn’t seem like it. Whether those feelings were thirty years ago or three years ago, the intensity of them doesn’t change. Auntie Bright and Grace discuss this at the end of Grace Awakening,

. “Have you heard how the archaeologists have excavated three thousand year old honey from within the pyramids?”
(Grace) nodded and whispered, “Yes, they discovered it was still perfect, because bacteria don’t grow on honey.”
“Exactly. Like ancient honey, a first love remains ever incorruptible despite the passage of time. Though the boy may no longer exist, the memory of him is always pure and sweet.”

Like Bright, I’m feeling somewhat lost at the moment in the ache and joy of nostalgia. Those intense feelings are always just below the surface, and the Twilight Saga has woken them for many women, of all ages. Whether our heads remember all the details, our hearts recall each nuance of confusion, joy and adoration.   Stephenie Meyer’s created world pushes us back to that place.  It can be a wonderful place to revisit.  Being in love has a narcotic effect on the system.  It does us good to re-awaken those passions by escaping from our dreary every day.

Perhaps someone watching my vacant stares and unexplained flashes of smiles might be distressed.  Perhaps that fact that my thoughts are unknown would pain some people.  Not being quite in control of your head can be a problem.  On the other hand, it is amazing as a writer to know that words have that kind of power!   I bow to the brilliance that can take control of my emotions away from me, and remind me of  love’s power.

I am so glad to have spent the last twenty-five years with the amazing and brilliant man who happily attends Twilight movies with me, discusses books, gives me valuable  writing critiques, tolerates my foibles, loves me beyond reason, and yes, does laundry. What a blessing I’ve been given.  I am reminded of this whenever I float out of the cloud of love and adoration rekindled by Twilight.

I hope Grace Awakening leaves readers in a haze, wishing they were still lost in the story, spending time with Grace, Ben, Bright, Jim and the others. I hope they find themselves in the realm of memory, remembering the boys and men who first touched their hearts and awakened them to the grace of love.  I hope the fantasy rekindles their hearts to their reality.


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