When Fiction Meets Reality Pt 2: To Escape Is Reality, Still


 “The thing had looked, in that first glance, so like a real country that he had forgotten it was floating—an island if you like, with hills and valleys, but hills and valleys which changed places every minute so that only a cinematograph could make a contour map of it. And that is the nature of the floating islands of Perelandra.”


One of the reasons I love fiction: It paints a livable portrait you can jump into, or when you don’t have the words for surreal moments, it has the words for you.

Hiking the Lankai Pillboxes gave me perspective that Hawaii isn’t just an island but a series of islands that can move at any moment with seismic activity.

“A photograph, omitting the colors and the perpetual variation of shape, would make them look deceptively like landscapes in our own world, but the reality is very different; for they are dry and fruitful like land but their only shape is the inconstant shape of the water beneath them. Yet the land-like appearance proved hard to resist”

Hawaii is paradise to most people, untouched, a glimpse of what a perfect world should be. Just like C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra, this paradise is not permanent. It’s only a temporary visit for people to renew and regain perspective. Eventually, the escape ends. It’s the desired life on fixed land which is what we really live for.

“Although he had now grasped with his brain what was happening, Ransom had not yet grasped it with his muscles and nerves.”

It doesn’t mean that these moving islands are not beautiful, necessary, or real. Hawaii and the hope for paradise are all of those.

What’s your definition of paradise? How do you escape the pressures of everyday life?

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