This isn’t a book review, although initially it may read like one.
A few months ago I finished reading my first Neil Gaiman book, called ‘Neverwhere’. I’d heartily recommend the book if you like fantasy fiction; and if you like London, you’ll definitely like this book. I won’t spoil it (too much) if you’re tempted to read it, but it’s about a man who helps a women, and the consequence of that is that he ‘falls through the cracks’ metaphorically (almost metaphorically, maybe literally in this story) and ends up in an underground London, a dystopian version of the one above. And, in that macabre place, his adventure starts.
‘Metaphors failed him, then. He had gone beyond the world of metaphor and simile into the place of things that are, and it was changing him.’ Neil Gaiman
This really isn’t book review, and I only mention the book, now, because I think that somewhere over the last few weeks and months, it feels as though I’ve entered some kind of parallel world, one with some continuity to the one I left, but a dystopian version of it, same-but-different. Everything seems a bit more extreme, some people more intolerant, politicians telling more terminological inexactitudes than before, and expectations seem lower.
‘Mind the gap!’ Neil Gaiman
Perhaps, I’ve fallen through the gaps in the pavement? And, if you’re reading this and are experiencing the same, then maybe the same thing has happened to you? Or, has it always been this way for us, for Celtic Christians, Druids, Pagans, those who are aware of the ‘bigger picture’ and who encounter That Which Is Bigger Than Ourselves?
So, what to do? My favorite phrase is, ‘…business as usual’, and perhaps until we all re-trace our steps, we just carry on. We do the big things, and especially do the small things to spread light and life, which might only be holding the door open for someone at one particular time.
‘You’ve a good heart,’ she told him. ‘Sometimes that’s enough to see you safe wherever you go.’ Neil Gaiman
Or, it might be a myriad of other good things to do, even though we might be at odds with the values of the society we now find ourselves in, and even though there will be overt (and covert) pressure to conform.
It’s written in one sacred text: ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…’
Ofcourse, you might feel very content and happy with the ways things are: that either means you are a natural inhabitant of this dystopian world (and so, it probably, won’t seem dystopian to you) or you’ve assimilated some or all of its ways.
However, if you feel a certain uneasiness with things, experience ennui deep in your soul, or look around and see some in authority acting ‘as soppy as a box load of frogs’, then we’re in good company, and it can only mean one thing….
‘…If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.’ C S Lewis
Meanwhile, if you work out a way to get back, please let me know? Have a great and blessed weekend, you and yours. Tadhg