Subject of today’s post: What the hell IS Neverland?
“Of all delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most compact, not large and sprawly, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed.”
–Peter & Wendy
Part of what makes Neverland fantastic, is that it’s rather indefinable.
“I don’t know whether you have ever seen a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island, for the Neverland is always more or less an island.”
–Peter & Wendy [bold added]
And of all things contained within the world, there are few more interesting or strange than the mind.
It’s no accident that the characters in The Gay Adventures wake up on the island with no memory. Each one of them has traumatic elements in their past which they would rather not remember.
If the island itself is a mind, that would mean the characters are literally trapped INSIDE their own minds, or—-at least—-on the surface of their minds. One day, lost boy Nibs starts digging in the sand. A few feet down he discovers a small, but rather unpleasant memory. Six inches deeper and a bit to the left is his insecurities about his skinny wrists, awkwardly wedged against his secret desire to play cricket.
Like most, he wouldn’t dare go farther. At least not yet.
Although I definitely don’t agree with every theory Freud proposed about the mind, I have always been drawn to his theory of the Iceberg. And you don’t even really have to squint to see this Iceberg as, instead, a rather delectable island…
NARRATOR: Neverland is neither here nor there—-in a literal sense—-and impossible to pin down exactly. But sometimes you blink and imagine you see a bit of it, but don’t know what it looks like so you can’t be sure. It is a place where things go to live, where things go to die, and where lost luggage ends up. The boys are a bit like lost luggage themselves: full of travel toothpaste, a perceived weight on society and your right arm, and are likely being missed by someone at this very moment, but no one knows who.