Suspension of Disbelief #lettersfromselvespas(t)sed

You could, I suppose, attribute the murders to the fact that I stopped believing in fairy-tales. The slack-jawed, gaping-eyed sense of wonderment and awe at the prince and the princess and the pea and the apple and the witch were replaced by a more sophisticated lexicon of adulthood consisting out of the vocabulary of disillusionment, the words of negation, the morphemes of cynicism and the phonemes of pain.

Suspension of disbelief. It is a prerequisite of awe and wonderment. And belief, and identity, and sanity. When you are willing to believe anything, the book that you clutch is solid, its book-smell pungent; the quarter-page bible-like illustrations outlining the prince and the princess and the pea and the witch have been grounded and solidified by the way in which you have lovingly crayoned in the colours of their hair and their clothes and their swords and their frogs; the territory and terrain of each story is concretely contained by its beginning and its end and the prince always gets the princess who feels the pea and survives the apple and escapes the witch.

Awe and wonderment, and belief, and identity, and sanity: the fairy-tale is the microcosmic blue-print for life. You clutch at the solid, pungent, outlined princes and princesses and peas and apples and witches with their hair and their clothes and their swords and their frogs and you mark your territory and your terrain and you cling to beginnings and endings and you get and you feel and you survive and you escape. You believe, you identify, you are sane. The suspension of disbelief.

“Suspension” – a holding back of something that already exists, is already there on the fringes of your consciousness, your belief. Belief does not exist without disbelief. The child-like bliss of awe and wonderment is based on a suspending of a knowing that what you believe is true, is not true. You believe, you identify, you are sane.

At first, when the disparity between the world of the prince and the princess and the pea and the apple and the witch and the world in which you live becomes more and more obvious, you murmur the wordless words that you were taught before you were able to learn. And you no longer feel the solidity of the book that you clutch, the book-smell fades and instead of rendering in colour the quarter-page bible-like illustrations, you become the prince and the princess and the pea and the witch and you are rendered colourful, solid, outlined. You become part of the terrain of the story, sturdily contained by the beginning and the end.

The fairy-tale is true because you live it, you believe it, and you believe it because you do not want to disbelieve the world outside of these pages with their book-smell, the story you are with a beginning and an end. You do not want to disbelieve the tale that you are told, the tale you live in the outside world. You cannot disbelieve it.

So you murmur the wordless words more and more and you are rendered colourful, solid, outlined in this world where there are beginnings and endings and you clutch at the solid, pungent, outlined princes and princesses and peas and apples and witches with their hair and their clothes and their swords and their frogs and you mark your territory and your terrain and you cling to beginnings and endings and you get and you feel and you survive and you escape.

It’s not the same as the time before the wordless words had to be murmured. You don’t believe as much as before, but you live it, you don’t identify as much as before because the outside self, the self that clutches the solid book with its book-smell has become a medium, an empty vessel for her fairy-tale selves, and you are not sane, but you are safe.

Suspension of disbelief.

 (The Letters from Selves Pas(t)sed series is drawn from writing created over 10 years ago. I’ve decided to include them as they create context for my journey. Keeping in mind where I come from helps me measure where I am and where I’m going.)

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One thought on “Suspension of Disbelief #lettersfromselvespas(t)sed

  1. Pingback: Why I’m zen in the midst of chaos: Spirituality for recovering-Christian Atheist Literature Snobs like myself (& images of my text tattoos) | life writ large

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