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Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Never Land

Tick tock, tick tock...  
Clocks, say you?  Tink is plotting against wily, old Captain Jas. Hook!

What you see is the Never Land.  You have often half seen it before, or even three-quarters, after the night-lights were lit, and you might then have beached your coracle on it if you had not always at the great moment fallen asleep.  
~J M Barrie; Peter Pan, Act II The Never Land~
  

Pixie dust...


     I am flying, second star to the right & straight on till morning, once again...have I ever left this place?  Place of winter & summer, pirates, Indians, mermaids, fairies.  Forests & lagoons.  Pan's place.  He still has all his pearly, baby teeth...did you know that?  I am flying to the Never-Neverland.  Haven't we all lived here, in some way, somehow, since our childhood?  Ever since James (we're great chums, Uncle Jim & I ;D ) wrote his play, wonderful, wonderful play, Peter Pan in 1904?  My Grandad wasn't even born yet, not till 1917, & he died some years ago.  As a child, I never thought to ask if he had read about Peter.  Somehow, I think, being the crackerjack story teller he was, I am quite certain he did.



  
Despair over the thimble.  Which, in this case, is a kiss.


     All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this forever!" This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.  
 ~J M Barrie; Peter & Wendy~





     I weep (like a good & proper loon) when I watch Steven Speilberg's Hook, when I hear the notes of John William's score, is there music more delightful?-well, it's right up there with all the loveliest ones!  I grew up, playing Peter & the pirates with my little sister.  If I remember correctly, I always let her play Peter.  That was generous, I think.  ;)  I was the pirates, oh yes!  A whole host of them, I was the mermaids, Princess Tigerlily, I was Wendy.  Split personality much?  Oh, yes!  ;)  I have always a writer...pretending was, quite simply, writing without the page & the pen.  At one time my sister & I began calling our pretend 'acting'...as we both assumed we were too old for it at that stage, but not about to cease.  After all, actors are just first rate pretenders.


  
Tink & the Hook.

Obviously...someone was having too much fun playing 'dress-up'.


     How, I wish I had written Peter Pan!  Are there any authors (if you are a writer yourself or even not one, but would like to have written a novel), whom you would gleefully pilfer?-if it weren't such a shameful thing.  ;)  hahah.  But, even James could not have written his play without those boys who dreamed up the Neverland with him.  The Llewellyn Davies boys.  How strange, that chance meetings can color your whole life.  How sometimes you can look back on childhood with a clear eye, other times find it lost in a vast fog.  Perhaps, you must love a child, to have written something like the story of Peter.  C.S Lewis had his little goddaughter, Lucy Barfield, to whom he dedicated The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe.  Tolkein had his own children for whom he wrote The Hobbit.  A A Milne, his son Christopher & Winnie-the-Pooh.  Then again...maybe children are just the excuse to be a child again, yourself.






Some disquieting confessions must be made in printing at last the play of Peter Pan; among them this, that I have no recollection of having written it.



Of that, however, anon.  What I want to do first is to give Peter to the Five without whom he never would have existed.


I hope, my dear sirs, that in memory of what we have been to each other you will accept this dedication with your friend's love.
 

The play of Peter is streaky with you still, though none may see this save ourselves.
 

A score of Acts had to be left out, & you were in them all.  We first brought Peter down, didn't we, with a blunt-headed arrow in Kensington Gardens?  I seem to remember that we believed we had killed him, though he was only winded, & that after a spasm of exultation in our prowess the more soft-hearted among us wept & all of us thought of the police.


There was not one of you who would not have sworn as an eye-witness to this occurrence; no doubt I was abetting, but you used to provide corroboration that was never given to you by me.  As for myself, I suppose I always knew that I made Peter by rubbing the five of you violently together, as savages with two sticks produce a flame.  That is all he is, the spark I got from you.  
  ~J M Barrie; To the Five: A Dedication~
 


It has something to do with the riddle of his being.  If he could get the hand of the thing his cry might become 'To live would be an awfully big adventure!' but he can never quite get the hang of it, & so no one is as gay as he.  With rapturous face he produces his pipes & the Never birds & the fairies gather closer, till the roof of the little house is so thick with his admirers that some of them fall down the chimney.  He plays on & on till we wake up.  
 ~J M Barrie; Peter Pan, Act V, Scene Two The Nursery & The Tree-Tops~



Did you read or play, Peter Pan when you were a child?


~Farewell, for now!~

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