Sick again, coughing and feverish, watching a cold front storm in from the Atlantic. I am too tired for visitors, people enervate where usually they enliven. No money for doctors so I am taking Coltsfoot and hot sweet tea. I have survived much worse.
And last night, wrapped in blankets on the sofa I watched the film Pan’s Labyrinth, already seen and acclaimed by most. It was late at night and the house swam in lamplight, with creaking floorboards, creaking ceiling beams and a rustling loft overhead. Next to me on the sofa, thumb in mouth, sat myself as a child watching the faun constructed of moss, earth, tree bark and tendril vines. Guillermo del Toro’s El labirinto del faun is disturbing, potent magic. A child trapped in an mountain encampment during the Spanish civil war discovers how imagination and fantasy opens the door to a vision of another world pierced through and through by the sacred. Brutality and violence is countered by enchantment. The spirals of an ancient labyrinth, the dying fig tree , the music of the forest, the lullaby sung to a dying child wrapped in moonlight.
Myth makes us human. Del Toro says that, but it has been said many times. before. Imagination, like faith, opens the door to a deeper and more wondrous reality. We may choose to call ourselves agnostic but never philistine. Myth is necessary.