Some of us, perhaps many of us, used our imaginations for other than amusement. For some of us, perhaps many of us, imagination was also an escape from reality, from a less-than-idyllic childhood and family. Mine fell into the latter category.
I was going through my Scribblings folder this morning and I found this piece. A coincidence, do you think, or is it fate?
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When I was a kid, my imagination was my only real playmate. It didn’t scream at me, make fun of me, or beat me up. It didn’t scare me, hurt me, or make me cry. It struck me, but with ideas instead of emotional fists to the soul. It was my only friend because it never betrayed my friendship. I trusted it and I followed it without question.
We went a lot of places, my imagination and me. We built castles in the sand, forts in the snow, a tree house in the woods.
We were always defending.
We were a lot of people, my imagination and me. We were the sheriff, the king, the hero in the white hat riding the white horse.
We were always stopping the evil.
We did a lot of things, my imagination and me. We made up stories, and the people in them, and the funny things the people said. We laughed.
We were always escaping.
Fifty years later, I still go to imaginary places, places I will never see and places that cannot be seen.
But they need no defending.
I am still imaginary people, like Charles Wadsworth Skinnyfellow and Andrew Lloyd Callahan. I am whoever I am, whoever I want to be, whoever I will be.
But I am never evil.
I still do a lot of imaginary things. I make up stories, and the people in them, and the funny things the people say. I laugh.
But not to escape.
My life, you see, has changed in every way . . . imaginable.