Several weeks ago, I read quite an interesting young adult novel by Zoe Marriott called Shadows on the Moon. Set in a fairytale version of feudal Japan, it follows a teenage girl named Suzume who, with the power of her shadow weaving, is able to become anyone she wants. In which case, it’s all for a plot to enact revenge on her stepfather for the murders of her father and cousin.
It’s from that book that I come to think about the illusions of real life in modern day; the illusions that we create without the assistance of such a skill such as shadow weaving. I think that, even if you’re the most open person in your circle of friends, there are parts of you that you’d do anything to hide. And in the cases of individuals who are even more reserved, well, one can only imagine how many fences and walls they have built around themselves, so much as to where we may even be faced with a mask most of the time, rather than the person him or herself.
Illusions like that seem to contain both good and bad side effects, depending on how they’re used what they’re used for. You may be the kind who puts on a brave face all the time -whether upon demand by yourself or an outer source- when in reality, you feel like running and hiding because you’re really scared. In that matter, that can be psychologically unhealthy. But then there are times where such illusions are more of a benefactor than anything else, especially in a professional setting. You want to be trusted to do your job well, and therefore, it’s necessary to dress and act in that level of respectability, even if there’s something about it you’re not 100% fond of.
Sometimes, the illusions we create may not even be out of the strength or weakness of our self esteem. I think that there are even cases where illusions are bred from the desire to create or re-create; to expose, to keep completely hidden away, or to shed just a little bit of light on something, and leave the rest a mystery worth solving. I can definitely attest to that by saying that I’ve been reading a lot of Haruki Murakami novels lately, and I’ve noticed how there are cases where you know the character only by a fake name, or even where you don’t even know the main character’s name at all. As much as it was a matter of choice for the author, his intentions in doing so are something that I’m still trying to figure out.
In a way, blogs and social media can be played along a similar game. While it’s amazing how much you can reveal about yourself on social media, it’s also interesting to see how much you can HIDE without saying a word of whatever it may be.
In that sense, I guess you can say that I’ve been playing on illusions for the short while I’ve had this blog. I haven’t said a word about who I am (not directly anyway), I haven’t said a word about what my books are about, I don’t even have a picture of myself on here (yet). It’s all kind of a mystery in a sense.
Perhaps one day, all my illusions will be completely unraveled. Won’t that be something!
We all have illusions we create- to keep and maintain, and in some cases, to rid of altogether eventually. As long as we know the difference between the two and choose wisely, then maybe we may all strive for a similar ending to our stories as that of Suzume in Shadows on the Moon.