About Jane

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Jane.  One day Jane looked to her left and saw a reflection: it was of her own face, and it was blank. Blank blank blank. As blank as the wall to her right, and an inkless sheet of paper. Jane was as blank as the room she was trying to fill. Or rather that her creator had tried to fill with her.
    You see Jane was a character, the star of fictitious story; made-up, created, fake and yes, blank.  For Jane only held the ability to exist within somebody’s mind. But in a world where children no longer read, and parents no longer thought, Jane had dissipated out of the universe, far away from her comfortable roots.  Jane was just a silly figment of one not-so-special writer’s imagination.  That writer is long dead now, and with him died his mind, and in his mind resided Jane.  One would think that Jane would die within the mind of this man, but no, the opposite happened. Jane had to think for herself, for nobody could do it for her anymore. Yes, you heard right, Jane thought.
    A wise man once immortalized the phrase, “I think, therefore I am.”  So, when fake, blank, Jane thought a thought of her own, she was.  Now, our world of walls and stone and illiterate children has no room for a made-up character of a short piece of fiction.  You see, although she now had an existence of her own Jane did not possess any physical form.  There was no room on overcrowded planet Earth to hold such an immense weight.  For if Jane ever did possess a body she would crush the world, her existence is much heavier than the rest of ours who are made of skin and bone, her existence is immense, universal and therefore simply colossal.  So fate did not allow poor Jane to possess any physical form, she had to exist on her own, far away from anyone’s imagination. People no longer knew how to imagine things as silly as a girl named Jane.
    The hurt of this existence was a great one, and Jane felt it instantly.  It was agonizing and terrifying but there was no going back now. Jane had thought a thought, and within that thought lay her being, and within that being lay some fragment of truth and truth cannot be abolished, it cannot be turned away.

    It seems that within fiction one can straddle the thin and fragile line that divides this world and the next.  It divides what some call the concrete and the abstract, or the shadows in the cave and the sun outside.  However it is described, the comfort of fiction is that it can take us there.  If only for one agonizing and glorious moment the world of fantasy and oddity can give us a glimpse of the truth; a truth that resides within all of us but can only be found in a land where life has no borders.
    This was the line where Jane was balancing, as if upon a tightrope, it was here and here alone that she could ever hope to exist. If she fell to her right she would find planet Earth, it has already been said that it was quite impossible for her to reside there.  To her left lay the absolute world, but that world of beauty and truth is blinding and terrifying, no being can ever go there completely for very long.  The intensity and the horror would certainly destroy beings much stronger than Jane.  So she moved along, trying with all her might not to fall one way or the other, keeping herself aloft simply by believing, by being conscious and aware.  If she could think to find existence than surely this tool would constantly keep her alive.  And so she went on and on, straddling that line the entire time, trying to find a place in this ever-more-mysterious world she had found.
    You see Jane did something that the rest of us could not, that the rest of us are ever trying to do. I sit here and pretend that Jane is alive I can pretend to be as lucky as she is and have the chance to pleasantly live down here and up there. To be both near and far to and from all that is beautiful and all that is real.  Jane was the only one who had this existence, but the existence hurt.  It hurt more than any pain any human could even imagine experiencing. It hurt because Jane, though she didn’t know it, knew everything.  She knew everything because she didn’t stop thinking, because she couldn’t stop thinking.  And if a person actually thinks, if a person is constantly aware and thinking, they know everything; for the everything that there is to know resides somewhere in really being alive.  And being alive is when one is not comatose or blank.  So here Jane was, she had achieved a life of paradise, one that every person wishes they had.  But Jane hurt because of it, and she hurt so much, because she was breaking every rule.  A character is not supposed to think, nor is it supposed to feel, nor is it supposed to exist.  A fictional character lives only within the mind of its creator and the minds of those who choose to believe it.  And there it can comfortably reside for as long as it needs to.  But when a character takes on actual human qualities, something has gone wrong, terrifyingly wrong.
    What is the purpose of artists, if not to create?  What is the purpose of a writer of fiction if not to create characters?  When one creates a character they are responsible for keeping it alive, but that responsibility is abolished when one, just one, of these characters learns how to do it on their own.  Well, Jane did.  She found out how, I will never be able to explain it but she did.  And when she did this she achieved that which all artists strive for, and, in turn, ruined them completely.  For humans have no purpose in life if somebody can discover how to straddle, and in turn abolish, the line between truth and reality.  That line is there for our own and our art’s protection.

The End

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