Dream a Little Dream
Painting by increder-steller-ble artist Sandrine Mercier
How's your imagination? Mine's just fine. I used to beat myself up over my astonishingly meagre capacity for technical thought...you know, this measures four inches and 12/16ths, and cut that at a 45 degree angle, and this needs a lag bolt...What the schmanck is a lag bolt? Then I realized that 12/16ths of my motor neurons fire up and leave an awfully impressive imaginative wake trailing behind me...like a shooting star might. Then I don't stress the number of tools in my tool box, not with 400 sketchbooks piled high, and 200 journals, and an overflowing hard drive. My head works a little differently than yours perhaps, but I love the difference, don't misunderstand. I love it.
I close my eyes and see tattoo chairs and floating balloons...flying whales and accordian playing dogs. If I sit down with a pen and a piece of paper there'd more than likely be something worth oogling when I'm done, just as my Father-in-law might build an impressive bug catcher our of an old computer fan and whatever tidbits he's got laying around...you know, because he can. Similar to the line from Good Will Hunting, he probably couldn't hit the ball out of Fenway but when it comes to that stuff he can just play. It's familiar territory for most of us I think, it's just that each one of us can just play at something very different from the other.
Divergent thinking is the key, I think. What places can your head and heart go to without being led by someone else's hand? If they can find curious places all on their own, and using whatever is set before them, well, you're gonna be just fine. Of all the things that we hope to bestow upon Zo, I hope the ability to do just that is one of them.
I'm sure a summer playing pirates, and reading books wherever the notion strikes us, and drawing and coloring and painting might just help push her in the direction of a healthy imagination (ahem, more healthy imagination...her's is already pretty well developed), but at the very least mine will be well watered. I've had six incredible days of finding my most childish self every day and I'm quite hooked on the feeling. It's like camp all over again. I think it's safe to say that all of us were children once but that many of us were either denied a proper childhood, or can't remember any part of it. That's sad. So just in case you've forgotten I'm going to remind you by sailing boats with whales today. You can do it too if you just try. It's nice to have a two year old to help but you're very capable of doing it on your own. I choose to sail the boat while you might choose to build it, or perhaps your head drifts off to that place where the boat is sailing from, or to...or maybe the whole story rises ahead of you, or the entire dream is in technicolor, or maybe you're just happy to watch other people sail with whales. Whatever it is, however you do it, dream a little dream every day and I promise you"ll remember what eight years old feels like. I promise.