I realize that I have said quite a bit about the concept of reading, but haven’t actually talked about any books. So today, we are going to change that.
This isn’t a quote from a book, it showed up in my Pinterest feed – but it reminded me of a character: Princess Winter Hayle Blackburn from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. (P.S. I don’t get paid for any links).
A little set up if you don’t know Winter: she suffers hallucinations and is slowly losing her mind. There is a cure, but in this case, the cure is almost worse than the disease, and so Winter must handle her symptoms as best she can. While also being a Princess, and handling the disappointment of those around her that won’t accept her decision not to be cured.
But Winter does not sit in her room and wallow in self pity at the harsh reality she faces. In fact, she often finds the most creative solutions to her problems by refusing to accept that conventions must be followed. Even more importantly, she shares the belief that the impossible can be made possible with her friends, showing them that any mountain can be climbed, any goal achieved.
So when she’s having a bad day, and can’t see the forest for the trees, her friends are there to give back to her what they have learned, and maybe together, they can be just a little better than they were before.
Princess Winter isn’t the only character who learns to handle hallucinations and live a full life. The movie “A Beautiful Mind” tells the true story of a brilliant mathematician, John Nash, as he struggles with the twisted conspiracies and imaginary friends that only exist in the realm of his imagination. John’s solution: whenever he meets someone new, he first makes sure someone else can see them, just in case the newcomer is not real. (Sound a bit like Katniss and Peeta’s game of “Real or Not Real” from the Hunger Games? )
You see, when we read about characters who have overcome the figurative Mt. Everest, survived its dangerous climb, and now thrive on the power of knowing they have conquered the world, it gives us a different perspective on the molehills we face in our own everyday lives.
And even when we find ourselves staring up at the steep slope of our own Mt. Everest, we draw strength from their strength, courage from their courage, and wisdom from their lessons.