Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Imagine

One of the recurring themes in my post The Good Old Bad Days was imagination; how, as children of the 50s and 60s, we used our imaginations to make up games and amuse ourselves. Sometimes the rules of the game changed every four to five seconds, which demonstrated creativity but could also draw extreme ire.

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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I Imagine

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.


Fay's Too said...

And in some ways, I suspect, unimaginable. I think you're pretty cool.

mapstew said...

Charles, I could never see you being evil, as I could never see myself being evil!

Imagination is what gives us creativity, fun, head peace, art, music, fashion, movies and more. So much more.

Keep it up pal. :¬)

(How's that Stivell album workin' out?)

lisleman said...

Much of what you said is why I like to dream.
I believe kids still have imagination. You see some of it with homemade video clips. I do wonder if the many "escape vehicles" (video games gadgets movies etc) available today results in less exercise of their imagination.

Robert the Skeptic said...

When we would come home from the Saturday matinee we would play pretty much whatever the genre of the movie was. So if it was a Western, we would be cowboys and Indians the rest of the afternoon, or Army, or Pirates, or Merry Men of Sherwood Forest, or Astronauts.

We used clothes pins to attach playing cards to the fenders of our bikes so they would rub on the spokes making them instantly into Motorcycles. Or we took the wheels off of our dad's BBQ's and with nails and 2x4s and rope we made go carts. Or parachutes made from handkerchiefs, kite string, and a plastic army man.

When I look back, half the fun was the pride that came from our having built something ourselves, created something.

Even today, I am most happy when I am making something. Imagination and creativity are the "cookies and milk" of the mind.

Pat said...

Never is one of the loved havens in blogland.

TechnoBabe said...

Using my imagination is why I have always loved to read. I get to picture each setting and each person the way my mind chooses. Sometimes it is interesting when I read a book and then it is made into a movie and I see how someone elses mind sees those people and those places. I am a huge fan of imagination. Nothing can stop us in our imagination. Wonderful post, Charlie. Ever since I found your blog I have been sensing your imaginative mind!!

Kim Ayres said...

Calvin and Hobbes - tell me you're a fan of the cartoon strip Calvin and Hobbes. And if you don't really know much about them, then order the complete collection from Amazon and chuckle, snigger and guffaw in recognition.

You, my friend, are just a grown up Calvin :)

Ocean Girl said...

I dreamed of being a Charlie's angel but always in distress.

hope said...

Kim: you nailed that one! :)

Charlie, I consider my childhood imagination my passport to sanity; when days get bad, I remember the time when we were allowed to create a little world of our own without someone trying to medicate it out of us.

I know as a girl I'm not suppose to challenge you to a race. But I'll be happy to build sandcastles with you. :)

Samm said...

Ah to be a babe (and to dream)


Jerry said...

It saddens me that kids don't have, or don't exercise the option of playing. Perhaps it is simply my age, but it seems they have only one world. When I was a youngster I had a multitude of worlds that I explored with playmates.