My Journey Into Fangorn Forest

Sometimes, you need to envision an imaginary world in which you love to escape the reality of a world in which you hate.

The Weeping WillowThe weeping willows surrounded us as we ventured further into the forest’s depths, the world growing farther behind us with each passing step. The sounds of cars passing by grew distant as civilization began to thin within the walls of the forest. A solitary confinement meant to be therapeutic, yet releasing subliminal amounts of fear as all hopes of help continued to be put behind us.

What if we weren’t alone after all?

The mind has a funny way of working. Secluded from the world, we had nothing but our thoughts to fuel us. All past experiences with horror movies, deepest fears, personal adventures, and everything in between surfacing to guide our adventure. Would a cannibalistic tormentor jump out of the bushes to eat our brains? What if wizards and witches and creatures were real, hiding where no one would ever find them and waiting for an unknowing victim? Or what if our imaginations are the only things that exist, and different imaginations are linked to each other to create common bonds and interests? What if the world itself was nothing more than us living within the imagination of what someone’s perception of the world is? Life is nothing but a personal experience. If no one were to be alive to experience the world, it would technically cease to exist.

Paths twisted left and right, continuing on forward and backward with no other stops. No pre-made decisions exist here. Your intuition is what guides you and leads you to the places of confinement you wish to set for yourself. Nature mimics life more than people realize. There are plenty of times we reach a fork in the road. Do we go left? Right? Turning around is never an option if you want to go forward, but sometimes paths lead you to destinations you weren’t expecting. And what do you do then? Push forward. Find your way.

An Unwinding Path

The sun beat down on us, hard and hot as we continued to search for unknown answers. All we wanted to do was immerse ourselves into our imaginary world. The trees spoke stories for themselves as the wind whispered through their leaves. Perhaps that is always the way trees communicate, and we take for granted the messages they’re trying to say. Soft rustling is gentle encouragement, while noise and falling leaves act as a warning for what may soon come. They say communication is key, do they not? What if our relationship with nature, or God, or a higher being, or whatever we believe is greater than ourselves is lacking communication? What if we lack communication with our life? When life is getting hard and kicks us while we’re down, what if it’s trying to tell us we need to assess certain aspects in order to sort out issues we’re consciously unaware of?

Sweat began to escape the top level of my skin as my pores opened up under the heat. Water soon became our only source of life as we ventured further into the secrets the world wished to keep hidden from us. There is much we don’t know, and much we choose to ignore. Sounds of twigs snapping in the trees next to us heighten our interest and adrenaline. Is it an animal? Is it a person? Is imagination real, leaving this to be a subliminal fear finally coming to overtake us?

The Beating SunBeauty is captivating. It is said that beauty lies within the eyes of the beholder. Beauty is like imagination. Sometimes it bonds us in agreement. Sometimes it separates us in opinion. But beauty, like life, is only a perception, yet perception doesn’t stop it from existing. In a world lost to cell phones, money, Facebook, Twitter, popularity, everything man-made that causes us to alter our opinions of beauty, the natural order of the way things work is quickly forgotten.

There are some things that never change, even as the world in which we perceive it does.

  • The sun always rises in the east, and sets in the west.
  • Evaporation, condensation, precipitation.
  • The way rain smells when it mixes with dirt.
  • No matter how hard we try, gravity works.

Knowing these things, we continue forward in our search for answers, our search for beauty, our search for ourselves. Knowledge is continuous. Perception is changing.

Beauty as Perception

Fear is the stimulant for nearly every emotion. If you’re angry and you can’t figure out why, ask yourself what you’re afraid of. If someone has made you mad, is it because you’re afraid what they’ve said or done to you is right? Or that other people may believe falsities about you? If you’re in love is it because you’re afraid to be alone? Happy because you’re afraid to be sad? Not every emotion may be painted in black and white in its connection to fear, but fear is a stimulant that is ever present in every person, and will only consume us if we allow it. As we continue into the forest, the fears of cannibals, axe murderers, creatures, everything else of the like drives us forward, yet holds us back at the same time. The mere comment of saying a cannibal may be hiding in the bushes causes us to stop. When we’re surrounded by nature and everything is quiet and still, any movement causes a panic that may or may not get the better of you.

In a society where everyone is concerned about staying young, imagination and creativity are the two topics never promoted. Botox, lip injections, breast implants, plastic surgery, anything fake that can make you feel younger than you are is encouraged, yet expanding your mind the way you are when you’re a child is not. Kids live in their own world because they haven’t learned what to care about yet. Adults become so intoxicated with bills, stress, work, kids of their own, life problems, everything wrong in between that no one allows themselves to imagine a perfect world. A perfect world clearly does not exist, no one’s fooling anyone. But why not take a beautiful day and escape from the world you hate and allow yourself to have the imagination of a child? Just you, your thoughts, and nature guiding you for a day.

Fangorn ForestAs our feet began to tire beneath our legs, an outcropping sucked my mind away from the problems of the world and into a world that has inspired me and moved me for the grand majority of my life. Lost in my own thoughts and inspirations, I push myself forward. Familiar sights push fears deeper into my psyche, locking them into a box in hopes they stay there. I can allow fear to control my life, or I can push forward to discover aspects of myself I never thought were possible. Approaching the edge of a forest somewhere in my mind I know well acts as a positive stimulant in causing the cannibalistic-like fears to remain dormant instead of active.

Nature has a way of cradling us more than we’re aware of. Surrounding ourselves in natural things becomes eye opening the more you spend time with it. The world is becoming fake. Anything we can do to alter what other people perceive of us becomes the greatest driving fear we possess. Yet nature never changes to adapt to someone else’s likes and dislikes. It is. It just is. It exists because it fuels us, and we take advantage of its importance because we never allow ourselves to become one with it. Some may view these ideas as crazy, but nature is the best therapy a human can find.

A Fork in The Road

Paths fork and cross for reasons. No one can go through life without making decisions, whether they be difficult or easy. So often we come to a fork in the road where a decision is harder than we thought it would be when we got there. Who would have thought a simple hike through nature would cause the way life works to make so much sense? Entering into a world where no specific path is premeditated is exhilarating. The chances of getting lost seem almost alluring and sadistic because that’s the way our mind is supposed to work. Structure is difficult to the human mind. It yearns to be free. It yearns to think, to imagine, to create, to learn, to know, to be. It doesn’t want to be tamed. It doesn’t want to be controlled or change. It just wants to be.

But, like life, if you choose the correct paths when faced with the decision, you will always be led to where you need to go. You will always overcome your fears. Your conquests. Your roadblocks. Allow your mind to be free, to exist, to yearn, to want. Let it control you sometimes instead of trying so hard to control it, and the path you may find yourself on may change your life forever.

The Right Path

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What do you use as therapy?

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2 thoughts on “My Journey Into Fangorn Forest

  1. I like this. Except, I’m not sure I agree with one point. Or maybe I do, but there are exceptions. You say imagination and creativity are not encouraged. In some instances, I agree with that. We often tell kids to stop daydreaming and do their work. Or maybe that they need to grow up and stop pretending that they have an imaginary friend. In these instances, imagination is being put down. However, what about the time a teacher gives a student a blank slate of paper and says, “Now draw whatever you want…”? Teachers do that, sometimes. In the West, anyway.

    This is where I and many other people see a huge cultural divide between the West and East. Kids in the West tend to be much more creative because they are, generally, encouraged to do so in the classroom. When teachers give kids an example to follow, they don’t want the kids to mimic exactly what they’ve done. They want them to come up with their own ideas. I found this particularly frustrating when I was teaching in Taiwan. We made origami frogs that jumped, and then we’d race them. I asked the kids to decorate them and more often than not they would draw eyes and a mouth and a tongue exactly as I had. They just didn’t get it.They had never been told to come up with their own ideas before…

    But I know that cultural divide isn’t what you were referring to in this post. Sorry to get off topic! Just what this post brought to my mind. 😛

    • I really like your insight on this, actually. Cultural divide is a really important topic that I think oftentimes goes unheard. For this post, I was referring more to the adults not being encouraged to be creative and imaginative, but I didn’t think about it started with the youth. The story about the children making an exact replica of your origami frog is kind of the idea I was going with. Individuality, I suppose, would be another idea not often brought up in public discussions

Thoughts?

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