I grew up in a small, Canadian, rural town in the 80s. I played Dungeon’s & Dragons, read comic books, and with surprising regularity, swung off a rope into a river with a small, tight-knit group of friends.
Looking back, I am convinced that the stars shone brighter, the sky was bluer, and the dice rolled truer there than anywhere else in the multiverse.
Other things have occurred to me in retrospect. Chief of them is the notion that, despite what our parents said to us constantly — it is quite possible that we did indeed know everything when we were teenagers.
As someone now just this side of 50, I’ve come to believe deeply that many of the things we are trained to deem important are in fact complete nonsense, and perhaps more importantly, many of the things we are trained to deem nonsense, are in the end, the most important things of all.
What I remember most from the time in my life this book is drawn from is that the inner life was celebrated at least as much as the outer.
Recently, as a father with children who are at the age I was at then, I lament how our focus shifts from inner to outer as we age. As a person who has studied politics and worked in advertising, I now think we are prodded like sheep to move away from the inner realm to the outer as we get older because our society and its cultural accoutrements are designed precisely to accomplish this. Inner-dwellers, 23rd level paladins, philosophers, writers, poets, artists, and dreamers are valued little by a system that — if we are being truly honest with ourselves — prefers obedient workers and mindless consumers: the products of an outward oriented, intensely delineated perspective.
Andy Crowley’s saga, chronicled herein, is a celebration of the ability in youth to blur the line between the inner and outer realms. And its unbridled reverence for Dungeons & Dragons, science fiction, fantasy, imagination, and rock & roll are a testament to something I now hold true. Namely, that there are no lines in reality, save those we are trained to perceive — all of which are constructed to limit and imprison us. Furthermore, I submit that this most fundamental of truths is the basis for a number of schools of mystical knowledge we have likewise been trained to trivialize or even fear.
It is a notion born of my 15-year-old self that the time has come for that arcane wisdom and mystical perspective to return to us, maybe right at the time when humanity needs it most; and that the vehicle for its return is none other than the very device you are reading this on now …
… a grimoire of glass!
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