Please welcome guest blogger and new Art of Storytelling intern Acea Spades Black. In this blog, the 21-year old Portland native explores his childhood love of LORD OF THE RINGS and the power of fantasy. Acea is serving a 3-month sentence as AofS’s intern, and is already helping put us on the map with press releases sent to major Pacific Northwest publications. He’ll be researching markets, doing some typing, maintaining finances, exploring social media outlets and much much more. He’s a bright light!
I was six years old, lying on my mother’s tummy on the living room couch of our SE Portland duplex. The setting sun lit the curtains bright orange. The television in the corner stood dusty and untouched. We listened to the narrator’s slightly distorted voice through a cheap plastic boombox, for my mother cannot see and has never seen me, thus the stories we shared were from the voice of storytellers and not the written pages of books.
I stood alongside Gandalf as he searched the mighty stone wall for the magic door which led into the heart of the mountains, through the Mines of Moria. The clouds parted to reveal the moon. As it shone upon Gandalf’s silver hair its light revealed the secret door which he sought. The party of nine adventurers perked up to see the silvery tracings of the Elvish language upon what was cold stone moments before. This was the only path through the mountains, and these adventurers had a perilous quest at hand. Quickly, I scrambled through the Lord of the Rings CD Box Set for my map of this land and ran outside in time to see my own moon. I held that map to the moon, asking to see the secret door which the Fellowship saw. At a young age, I knew there was much more than what can be seen by the eye, something far greater than physical reality. This door I sought would lead beyond our world to a place of magic and fantasy, and the key to it was my imagination.
I am twenty-one now, and never have I lost sight of my door, but neither have I ever truly opened it. Just a few months ago, I began writing ideas which sprang into my mind. With a feather quill and parchment paper, I penned my first stories about Beings who created worlds for the enjoyment of humans and creatures. I put the paper in an old drawer and began a new one. I told the story of a Council that lives in a city on the Sun, governing the affairs of the orbiting planets. As my ideas grew, so did my collection of stories, and so I brought out my old laptop. Now, I have several tales set in all the unending corners of my imagination.
It was always a dream of highest attainment that I could walk in the worlds of my fantastic mind; to see the sunsets; to smell the air; to feel the waters; to sweat and heave as I climbed a mountain made purely of the stuff of dreams. My mother has always encouraged me and my thoughts. She used to say, “Make your fantasies reality, but be careful not to make your reality a fantasy.” What she meant was… life is ours to do with what we wish, it is not necessarily what we do with it, but that we just do it! Thus, beginning to pour the waters of my mind into the written word has made a bridge from my fantasies to my reality. My dream is becoming an achievement.
In the stories we read, in the movies we see, in the deeds of our fellows and family, we are taught our morals. Stories seem to have a knack for saying much more than they mean, or even meaning much more than they say. I realized only recently that those who taught me to be mild of temper, patient during confusion, and wise in my actions were not actually the people in my life, but those great sages we call Wizards. Albus Dumbledore was like the grandfather who watched me with all-knowing eyes; Gandalf as a friend and mentor nudged me to continue my journey though the weight be too much to bear. My best friends Harry, Ron, and Frodo, showed me that we all make mistakes, but we must press onward and face our adversities with fire in our eyes and determination in our hearts. These characters of fantasy display real human characteristics, reflections of our challenges and shortcomings which become the deeper understanding of our life. We reflect reality upon the polished mirror of a story, so we may see ourselves in new light and from new eyes.
My mother and I burned through a library of tapes before I could read: Winnie the Pooh, Mother Goose, Grimm’s Fairy Tales. When I grew older, it became Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. She raised me as a single mother. As I grew, I began to see her difficulties and her strides. To be blind in a world which is so rich with visual pleasure means that you cannot connect on many levels with the people around you. I cared for my mother with the same love she gave to me, and that surpasses all the boundaries of the physical world. The greatest lesson of all which my mother passed along to me… even those who cannot see may enjoy with beautiful vision the splendor of the mind’s eye!
Art of Storytelling is a coaching service for writers. We offer a free initial consultation. Contact us through our website www.artofstorytellingonline.com.