“He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night, and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever. He burns at the center of time and he can see the turn of the universe. And… he’s wonderful.”
-Paul Cornell, The Family of Blood, Doctor Who, S3 E9
The other day, in a time of sadness, I found I needed to believe in magic again. I needed to find the child inside of myself that remembered the truth of Myth.
The world overwhelms me, tips me off the thin line of balance into darker places. I don’t judge these places; they have their purpose on this path. But I fell hard and fast, head first into the dark, and I needed a guide.
We all have our heroes. We all find solace or strength in symbols outside of ourselves. It’s not really magic. It’s not even really faith. It’s the power of myth, and the strength we all have to create our universe. It’s the work of the poets and the dreamers, the storytellers and the wise ones.
Stories help me realign myself. They allow me to take myself out of my own teeming brain to observe from the heart. It could be a good book, a tale told, or, in this case, an hour-long episode of a story about a being with two hearts who can’t help but save the human race every time we are hurtling toward disaster. Perfect.
My hero, that day, was the man in the blue box.
The stories of the Doctor have been charming us, teaching us, and healing us for over 50 years. There is an alchemy to these tales, transforming separateness into compassion. They are sometimes sad, scary, or touching, but always they are honest and from the heart.
Finding myself in a place of fear, I am reminded that fear is a natural reaction to change. In truth, we are always in flux, forever changing. In these darker moments, we have the gift of one another. We have our fierce will, our resilience, and our dreaming hearts. We can walk through the shadowed valley because we have the power within these hearts to overcome our fears.
My own heart beats steadily, animated by the thousands of stories I hold deep within its chambers. It moves me back into a place of balance, where I can be strong again for myself, and the people I love. It generates a hope that has me looking to the stars for the tiny light in the darkness.
As the Doctor tells us, “My experience is that there is, you know, surprisingly, always hope.”
Are you alone
Does the night
sit quietly beside you?
In your dreams,
did the star man
promise to return?
He may be
a little lost,
but he is coming.
You may wait
for oh so long,
but he’s your
madman in his box
looking for you.
Don’t give up hope.
Don’t put away
your childish things.
to save us
in the end.