Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," merry faeries and chocolate covered cherries, and mistletoe with waxy berries!
Please don't mind me. I rhyme to please the fae.
Hecate has a post up about Peter Pan. Who exactly is Peter Pan? Do we understand him?
It would be easy to dismiss Peter Pan as a figment of J.M. Barrie's imagination, a hero who appeals to kids because they're kids and to adults who remember childhood with nostalgia. It's equally simple to scorn Peter Pan because he's so blythe, so inconsiderate of the females who swoon over him, so wrapped up in being the leader of a gang of boys who refuse to accept adult responsibility.
There's a forgotten component to all of this. Peter Pan is immortal.
Peter Pan refuses to grow up. He is therefore unlikely to die of age-related issues. He lives in the suggestively-titled Neverland. Never gonna die. Nope, not me.
It's a tragic fact that many youngsters have horrible childhoods, marked by terror and abuse, by over-work or neglect. But in an ideal situation, where they are loved, human children enjoy a period of ecstatic happiness in their early years. They play with their peers, they snuggle under the covers with beloved toys, they run to Mom when something goes wrong ... and she fixes it. Dad takes them sledding, and to the ballpark to see the Orioles, or to the marsh to see the herons. They've got dogs and cats who love them and grandparents who spoil them.
If you consider that immortality will contain vestiges of the human to it, and not consist of some amorphous otherworldy positive energy, how would you like to live forever? Is it a coincidence that so many depictions of angels and faeries are of children?
To me, Peter Pan is not a bad little boy who's mean to girls and just likes to fight and take charge. He's immortality idealized. As a kid I loved Peter Pan, even went through a phase where I wouldn't answer to any other name. It never occurred to me that I couldn't be Peter Pan because he was a boy. I didn't even think of him as a boy. I just thought of him as a kid.
Now I know, of course, that Peter Pan exists in the ethereal world, that many cultures have met him and befriended him, and that he's ancient as the universe but still playing, playing like a happy child, mothered by Goddesses when necessary. Always his band of Lost Boys grows larger, because you see, they aren't lost at all. They're saved.
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