ONCE UPON A TIME, I knew that our imagination was fiction, and our daily lives were fact.
Aren’t there rules? Can’t we write a story that seems to have happened (but didn’t), and yet remember some startling event that no one believes is true (but it happened)?
Answer: No rules. All our lives are gently stirred, our recollections and our imaginations become, to the best of our knowledge, the lives we live, day after day.
Of course we can play with rules that aren’t. I remember flying formation long ago, through clouds that were so dense that I could only see just the wingtip of the flight leader, the rest was fog. I had to fly breathtakingly close to his wing or he would be gone in the clouds.
Later, on the ground, and with years after the flight, I couldn’t believe that clouds could so tightly packed with mist. I must have imagined that flight, i thought, and soon as I did, it became unreal. I hadn’t had such a day ever, before that day, never had one after…it couldn’t have happened, just some light mist, I’m sure. It couldn’t have been. So today, it’s fiction, until perhaps some reader can tell me it happened to her or to him, too. Some clouds are really dense! Then it will come back into living experience for me, once again.
I wrote a little book called Rescue Ferrets at Sea. A book from a few years ago, and since I loved the ferrets I decided to make them a little more true for myself and for readers.
I made an fifteen-inch insignia of the Ferret Rescue Service. Since it was to be used in rescue events with one rescue boat, I centered the FRS insignia on one boat’s colors: striped orange and yellow. Other rescue boats had their own colors, but Bethany Ferret and her crew had rebuilt a wrecked boat, the J-101 Resolute, so if she was to have an aerial seaplane to help her rescue small mammals, the seaplane needed the Resolute’s colors.
I took the insignia for the Ferret Rescue Service, took it to an embroidery shop, made a flight jacket patch for the RFS:
I guess you know what seaplane was going to fly with the FRS. Not from the pages of the book, but from the pages of my mind.
Is this fiction, or is it part of the every day experience of those who happen to see the FRS aircraft fly?
And sure enough, there came to be another plane, with a pilot who flew to the water and removed a rope that could have tangled in the legs of a small mammal, and Dan Nickens and his seaplane became the second aircraft of the Ferret Rescue Service.
So there in a minute you have the story.
One time not so long ago I believed that Lucky, my dear friend and Shetland Sheepdog might be returning to earth after three years (human time) gone. I found one single Sheltie that seemed to have Lucky’s characteristics. The little one, Lockie, I just discovered, was so reluctant to having a leash connected to his collar, (though he’d walk fine if Sabryna were with him) but he simply refused to walk with me. It took a hundred treats to get him to come 200 yards down the road.
At last I took the leash off, and like magic, like Lucky, he immediately walked near me wherever I wished. Little Lockie, preferred not to be forced, even if it was in the interest of his safety. I have to admit that Lucky and I feel the same way. Please don’t save me from my own decisions. Even if I’ll crash, some day, don’t protect me from myself.
Not long ago, he was just an idea. He’s a little puppy now. Lucky loved my shoes when he was a puppy, Little Lockie does, too:
Is Lockie fiction? Am I? Is our whole world, our beliefs and hopes and imagination, is that the shifting fantasy that we take for true?
For the few years of our mortal lives, maybe so.