Fantasy Life

I suppose you could say I had a rich imagination. When you are presented with a reality, your first impulse is acceptance. So it was with me, at first. But over time, curiosity fuels speculation.

Youthful speculation began at puberty, when I found myself imagining that my birth parents were aliens, or werewolves, or some other otherworldly, supernatural situation surrounded my birth, and that this occult matter would eventually be revealed to me in an apocalyptic revelatory experience, something epic, on par with Darth Vader unmasking himself to Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi.

This was amplified by my voracious reading appetite.. of course I had the same love of science fiction as millions of other kids my age growing up in the eighties, and I watched Star Trek religiously throughout my child hood, then Star Trek TNG through puberty and high school. But science fiction and fantasy only satisfied me for so long – I quickly became enamoured of horror and dark fantasy, and ultimately more occult and esoteric writing as well.

I found my way from one end of the metaphysical spectrum to the other, dabbling as I studied.. a tarot reading for some friends, or to explore possible issues and their resolutions.. a candle engraved with bindrunes to help facilitate locating a job upon moving to a new town.. astrological charts to prepare for Saturn’s return, drawn up a few months in advance.. invoking the spiritual forces at work in the heart of the forest in an ecstatic trance – you know, dabbling. In seeking answers to questions I knew no direct way to ascertain, I cast about more widely in terms of what could provide insight.

So yes, I did spend nights trying to project backward in memory, or outward through meditation, to find my relatives. I tried to use spirits and spells, candle magic, tarot cards, and other types of omens as guides to find my way back through the weave of time and fate. I was born in the Magic Valley, after all. It’s not surprising to me, at least, that I would have had the strange luck to put the pieces together. How much real magic was there in finding my biological relatives? How much fate?

I think I found that, for myself, there is a kind of internal balancing necessary to survive the constant threat of identity dissolution. That balancing provides control over one’s own internal psychological states. Adoptees are positioned in a sociological framework where one’s identity is always already a construct, something adopted, for lack of a better word, as a survival mechanism, rather than an expression of oneself, then the self remains always in defensive posture, always already in denial of performance. Magic, at its most atavistic, at it’s root, is an expression of the identity of the individual in harmony with the universe, in defiance of institutions that might undo the individual, and in concert with articulations of divinity that might help protect and nurture an individuated self, particularly in times of crisis or transition.

I know there are technological advances which made the discovery more likely, still… all of life is so wildly improbable. To succeed at anything at all in this life, especially something so confounding, something that cut to the heart of who I saw myself as, who I thought I was, and then see that shift, change over time as I integrated that knowledge… that’s really the alchemical moment, that’s the magic.

Published by

Jeffrey Wes Unruh

Adoptee, born at the Magic Valley Regional Medical Center, April 15, 1974. I spent 23 years trying to figure out all the details, concluding my search in 2019 after meeting my biological father. I'm working on a book that encapsulates my thoughts on adoption in general, and the experience of being adopted.