Friday, May 30, 2014

Fandom Fridays: The Dancing Lawn

A few months ago, my friends and I came up with an idea to do "Fandom Fridays." The initial idea was to get together and watch a movie or TV show or do something related to one of our fandoms. Because of my job and my residency off campus, I never participated in these so-called "Fandom Fridays" (and therefore, I have no idea if my friends ever did anything either). But I liked the idea of it. "Fandom Fridays" has a catch to it, and I love to talk about my fandoms.

So I'm going to start something new on my blog called "Fandom Fridays." I don't know if I will be able to do post every friday, but I'm going to pop in on some Fridays and talk about one of my fandoms.

So what is a fandom? According to wikipedia, a fandom is "a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest." My definition of fandom is a group of fans (including fangirls and fanboys) of a particular interest or thing. This could be a interest in anything, not just a particular book series, movie, or celebrity. No, I'm sure there is a fandom out there for the way cats act around catnip, for the feeling of rain upon the skin, and probably even for specific fonts.

This week I want to accomplish two things with my fandom friday. I want to express the depth of my love for one of my first fandoms and I want to explain where I got the inspiration from my blog title. So, let's step through the wardrobe and enter into the world of Narnia.

Narnia. It's a well-known book series, and movie trilogy (though I'm hoping for a fourth movie soon). C.S. Lewis' name is famous for his writings. Narnia. A child's adventure through the wardrobe.

Narnia has always been home for me. Since I was little, I've been surrounded by the idea of Narnia. My mom read the books to me, I read the books on my own, and I watched the first movie with renewed interest. Of all my fandoms, this is one of the first and it will definitely be one of the last. When all my other favorite stories fade from my mind, I have confidence Narnia will always have a special place in my heart.

The idea of four ordinary children stumbling upon a new world has always stuck with me. A world where a lion is king, where fauns dance with dryads, and animals can talk. Who wouldn't want to experience that? Four ordinary children changing the fate of a whole world, fulfilling a prophecy, and aiding in the defeat of a witch and her magical spell. Something has always captured me about Narnia, about belief in something bigger than myself, about having the ability to do something great with an ordinary life. I've always felt like the Lucy in my world, believing in something when no one else does.

The words C.S. Lewis penned almost sixty years ago are still spinning magic. And it's a magic that I hope lasts forever. I fell in love with Narnia when I was little. And someday, as C.S. Lewis said himself, I hope to fall in love with it all over again. Narnia gives me courage and hope. Narnia lets me know I can be brave.

"he felt or heard... a faint beating or drumming... The beating noise at once became fainter, but the music returned, clearer this time. It was like flutes... Nearer and nearer came the music, a tune wild and yet dreamy, and the noise of many light feet, till at last, out from the wood into the moonlight, cam dancing shapes such as Caspian had been thinking all of his life... "Fauns!" cried Caspian, jumping up, and in a moment they were all round him. It took next to no time to explain the whole situation to them and they accepted Caspian at once. Before he knew what he was doing he found himself joining in the dance... The Fauns footed it all around Caspian to their reedy pipes." -Chapter Six: The People that Live in Hiding, Prince Caspian

The Dancing Lawn is prominently interacted with in book two of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian. The Dancing Lawn is a smooth circle of grass surrounded by elm trees, and it is the traditional location the Old Narnians meet to have councils and feasts. The Dancing Lawn is where the old Narnians gathered after Caspain X fled from his Uncle Miraz. It is the location where Caspain X promised to free and restore Narnia. Later, the Narnians celebrated at the Dancing Lawn.

So why did I choose this as the title of my blog? Was it simply because "Tumnus' Bookshelf" was already taken? Yes and no. I mean, come on, Tumnus' Bookshelf is a fantastic title. But I could have found another character's bookshelf to use, but I didn't. I chose The Dancing Lawn. It is a place of joy and festivity. There is dancing and feasting and celebration. But more than that, The Dancing Lawn is a place where hope was renewed in Narnia. Someone had arrived to help them gain their freedom from the Telmarines. Joy and hope together.

Maybe my blog won't impact thousands of people. Maybe it will just be my own corner of the universe. A blip among the years of time. But this is a place where joy can thrive. Where hope can be renewed and where ideas and freedom can be restored. This is a place where the freedom of dancing is found.

I hope you join in the feasting. The fauns would love to dance with you.

-Jaguar Hero!

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