I have finally found the reason people cling to stories.
They use fiction to heal what reality breaks. Forgive me, I do not wish to blindly mar what I dislike, but reality isn’t always pretty, nor is it anywhere close to how our heart wishes it to be. Reality and fiction run parallel, and some of us find ourselves hopelessly clinging to both with life ordaining us to maintain a healthy balance.
It is a secret trapdoor in our vast, intimidating and often tedious material world. Some of us (rather most) wish to secretly escape through that door, never to return, while some sigh at its impossibility and content themselves with occasional peaks through it.
I belong somewhere in the middle. There are periods where I open that trapdoor, climb through and sit there to my heart’s content. I believe I am the happiest then. Other days I try to be rational and real, two words I sincerely dislike (though understand their gravity). But even in reality, a tiny fraction in my heart still dwells in stories and imagination (and magic).
I believe others do that too; take that trapdoor with them. It gives them a tool, a feeling that helps keep the drudgery of life away, that tool is hope. The greatest drug, the foundation of our present and the promise of our future. It saves lives. It is what makes us brush the dust off and walk again.
Stories are like a bridge connecting us to that hope. They help allay our grief, ‘It’s okay. It’ll get better. Eventually. One day.’ They are a proof that we deserve happy endings, more importantly, that happy endings are possible. That they exist.
Fiction helps mellow today’s hurt. So keep reading, listening, watching through your trapdoor. Keep it alive. There is a bright, luminous promise somewhere in there that things will be better.
They have to be.