Have you ever asked yourself how many different stories your life possibly had to offer? How it could have turned out when you had chosen another direction at any crossroad in life? Where would you be, who would you be, whom would you be with? Would you be happy? I sometimes still think about it; when looking at friends and relatives, or at people on TV, or when randomly observing people through the windows of the bus. In the evening, especially during Christmas time, I like to take the dog for a walk and then I wander around the streets counting the fairy-lights, peeking into windows that of the warm and bright houses.
In those moments I come to think: who are these people living here? What are they doing for a living? What are their hopes and dreams and what hopes and dreams have already been fulfilled or crashed? What do they feel, what makes them laugh and what makes them cry? Are they happy?
How you ever thought about life this way? Have you ever stopped, looked at people and wondered if that could be you? Well, I can tell you, it doesn’t really help thinking about how great your life could be. If you want to live your life in a certain way, you just got to do it, right? I know what you are thinking: what about those people who have no choice? What about those who cannot choose a way of living, because all they can do is to fight each day to stay alive?
Here is the good news: I have discovered that you actually can live multiple lives! You can be a hero, a star or the mother or father, and the friend you have always wanted to be. You can fly up to the “second star to the right, and straight on till morning” which would lead you to Neverland, or you take the hidden path to Rivendell to experience the beauty and balance of the Elves and nature. And I could go on: have you ever wanted to take a walk in the Hundred Acre Wood, discover the secrets of Hogwarts or visit the enchanted castle to dance with a candle holder? Have you ever imagined how Henry VI, V, VI and VIII or Romeo and Juliet were staged in the original Globe Theatre or what the early 19th-century England of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy looked like? Some of you might have already guessed it. I am talking about books, but not just any kind of books. But stories that create worlds and moments that take us away, that capture us and take us to a different place or a different time. These stories by J.M. Barrie, J.R.R. Tolkien, A.A. Milne and J.K. Rowling, create their own worlds, have their own lives; and if we are lucky enough, we can be a part of it. In fact, any story has the power to do it. It is up to us if we let go of our “normal” life for a moment and play our part in a different one.