In the Anaimon saga, more than one character experiences the proverbial ‘call to adventure’. Indeed, The Starfall itself begins with a call to adventure driven as much by circumstance and necessity as by an awareness of the changing self. In life, we can often remain blind toward or dismissive of such opportunities when they materialise, conspicuous and vivid, only to be shunted aside or rejected as an inconvenience, an extraneous risk, or an otherwise odious and unwelcome intrusion into the comfort and stability routine otherwise accords.
How each of the characters in The Starfall respond to their respective ‘calls’ is something I’d not analysed previously, despite a near-infinite tally of reads and re-reads. Cognitive dissonance and confronting the uncertainty of the future plays a key role for each of the main characters, as does the unique perspective and personal history each brings to their respective decision. That all embrace the call in some manner is indicative of both the fundamental need to progress (and the demands of the narrative itself), to establish something beyond what they currently have and know, and a willingness to embrace adversity; a drive to attempt a most daunting and perhaps impossible task. What then propels them, truly, into responding to the opportunity, the call? And in reality, what propels us to undertake or reject the same call? I wonder whether many of us often realise such opportunities and calls to adventure in our own lives when the veil of day-to-day life is permitted to lapse even briefly, or the corners of the canvas peel back but a little, and what lay beneath is stark and bare, enticing and horrifying simultaneously.
Necessity, fear, obligation, desire… each of these plays a small part in the heart of every adventurer, but I believe the truly unifying particle is that of hope, and and the search for an edifying personal truth. In considering this, I reflected upon the strange skews and twists of fate in my own life, noting those forks and branches of the unwritten path beneath me and where and why I’ve either locked-step and stayed the course that seemed true, or wandered and roamed farther than intended. And when one returns to what they presumed to be their path, that comforting resonance is replaced with greater awareness of the self, and a certain lens of criticality; the analytical prism for reflection and introspection both.
Thus my musings return to my beloved characters, and I try to imagine my own decisions and justifications were I in their respective circumstances, facing such momentous decisions. The Memory-Echo utilised by The Orders and their adherents in the Anaimon saga is a key aspect of this introspection and rumination; for it provides a resolute clarity and capacity for far greater self-analysis than the real world currently permits. All memories fade and dim with the passing of time, but for our heroes, those proficient in the utilisation and engagement of their various cognitive memory schema and Memory-Echo cycling, are able to almost re-live all of their formative, profound, and traumatic experiences of their lives. How this shapes them as characters, and informs their decisions as they undertake their great journey to restore their world, remains a thoroughly compelling and stimulating idea as I continue to craft and shape the Saga of Anaimon.
The call to adventure, at least in light of this brief contemplation, remains both a blessing and a curse, subjective as with so many other things in life. A call unanswered can be disaster averted, or compounded regret. A call responded to and eagerly undertaken can equally lead to misfortune and self-reproach, or can take one so far from who they were and how they viewed their world, that the person they were no longer exists, and is utterly subsumed by the new person that grows within, shedding external layers until they finally emerge, resplendent, terrifying, and disconnected from all that they once held as their personal truth.
If you recognised the call to adventure, the opportunity and nothing beyond it other than to leap into the obscure or to draw back from the threshold, what would you do?