Saturday, January 9, 2010

Fantasy vs. Reality

I spent the past two days in London helping my cousin and her family pack up and move back to the U.S. After they left, I was able to travel around the city a bit. Everywhere I went felt like a dream. On the train, I looked out the window and saw scenes that looked as though they had come straight out of a picture book. The snow-covered English countryside rolled by as the snow gently fell. Except I could also see my reflection in the window, which created an odd juxtaposition as though I suddenly had been thrust into a fantasy world.

Then, a woman walked by and asked in a perfect British accent if I wanted "anything from the trolley?" My mind immediately traveled to Harry Potter, the only other place I had heard that phrase. Still, again I seemed to break into this dream world as I heard myself respond in what seemed like an extremely harsh American accent, "No, thank you."

Everything seems like this. Parliament and Westminster Abbey stood before me in all their glory, and I was aware of all the great history that is associated with those places. Laws have been made, people have been buried and it all has shaped the world I was standing in that day. But I was also acutely aware that these were buildings, like the skyscrapers that architects design every day. I think I might just like these things better in the books than in real life, but, of course, we can't live in a fantasy world.

No comments: