There are no happy endings… There are no endings, happy or otherwise. We all have our own stories which are just part of the one Story that binds both this world and Faerie. Sometimes we step into each others stories – perhaps just for a few minutes, perhaps for years – and then we step out of them again. But all the while, the Story just goes on.
Charles de Lint
Everybody has a soul. I turn to Pelly. And that means you, too.
I’m not so sure of that, he says. What does it feel like?
Having a soul? I look at Maxine, but she only shrugs. I don’t know, I tell Pelly. I don’t have anything to compare it to- you know, what not having a sould would feel like.
We fall into a kind of awkward silence. I don’t know about the others, but I’m working on what a soul is and not coming up with a whole lot. I mean, I just always thought of it as me- what I feel like being me. But surely Pelly feels like himself, so that means he’s got a soul right? But if that’s not your soul, then what is?
It’s weird and not something you really think about, is it?
All my life I’ve wanted to be the kid who gets to cross over into the magical kingdom. I devoured those books by C.S. Lewis and William Dunthorn, Ellen Wentworth, Susan Cooper, and Alan Garner. When I could get them from the library, I read them out of order as I found them, and then in order, and then reread them all again, many times over. Because even when I was a child I knew it wasn’t simply escape that lay on the far side of the borders of fairyland. Instinctively I knew crossing over would mean more than fleeing the constant terror and shame that was mine at that time of my life. There was a knowledge – an understanding hidden in the marrow of my bones that only I can access ― telling me that by crossing over, I’d be coming home. That’s the reason I’ve yearned so desperately to experience the wonder, the mystery, the beauty of that world beyond the World As It Is. It’s because I know that somewhere across the border there’s a place for me. A place of safety and strength and learning, where I can become who I’m supposed to be. I’ve tried forever to be that person here, but whatever I manage to accomplish in the World As It Is only seems to be an echo of what I could be in that other place that lies hidden somewhere beyond the borders.
I love this world,” he added. “That is what rules my life. When I die, I want to have done all in my power to leave it in a better state than it was when I found it. At the same time I know that this can never be. The world has grown so complex that one voice can do little to alter it any longer. That doesn’t stop me from doing what I can, but it makes the task hard. The successes are so small, the failures so large and many. It’s like trying to stem a storm with one’s bare hands.
She knew this music–knew it down to the very core of her being–but she had never heard it before. Unfamiliar, it had still always been there inside her, waiting to be woken. It grew from the core of mystery that gives a secret its special delight, religion its awe. It demanded to be accepted by simple faith, not dissected or questioned, and at the same time, it begged to be doubted and probed.