Wednesday, March 30, 2011

it's the terror of knowing what this world is about

when my dad was younger he used to read a lot, so i assume he must have had an imagination. but somewhere along the path to growing up, he lost it. maybe it fell into the oceans he flew over it time after time after time. maybe he forgot it in his pocket and the drier stole it to keep the lost socks company. maybe it fell behind the bookcase or is stuck under the couch cushion. maybe it ran off to play with the dust bunnies or maybe one day it just died. maybe it was put out like a flame or crushed under the heel of reality. no matter what happened to it, the important thing is that it's gone.

i remember one time i was saying that i wanted to be a pirate. to live on the sea with no ties to anything that you don't carry with you. to be so totally in control of your future and have it so completely out of your hands at the same time. the whole life was just glittering with impossibility and fantasy and i wanted it. of course, i knew i was falling for the disney romanticized version of pirate life. i knew i was never going to be a pirate. i knew it just as much as i knew that i would never get my castle in the clouds. i talked about it anyway. my dad, though, didn't seem to realize i knew. he went on and on about how pirates are thieves and about how awful life would be and a bunch of other realistic stuff. no matter how much i tried to explain that i didn't really want to be a pirate, that it was just fun to imagine it, he couldn't - or wouldn't - get it.

when my brothers and i finish a book together, we usually have some sort of final discussion about it: the themes, the characters, the plot. after reading tuck everlasting, we debated the pros and cons of living forever. the next day my brother went to my dad and asked him if he would drink from a spring of water that froze you in time, if he would choose eternal life. my dad's answer? that can't happen. everyone grows up; everyone dies. my brother lasted longer than i did with the pirates, saying that he knows it could never happen, but what if. my dad never answered him. he just kept repeating that it could never happen so why think about it?

i wonder if losing your imagination is just a part of growing up, like losing your hair and your memory. if that's true then the day my imagination dies, i might as well die with it. i really don't think i could bear this world without the escapes i can create in my mind. if i suddenly refused to think about things that were "never going to happen," if i woke up one day fully resigned to the fact that life right now is all there is, if i wouldn't clap for tinkerbell "because fairies don't exist so what's the point?" then you should just start planning my funeral. i wonder how the people who grow up with the ability to pen fantastical worlds and calmly discuss the pros and cons of elf labor have managed to hold on to their magic.

is there a defining moment in life where you choose between the technicolor road and the black and white one? or is the choice never yours to make? if you live in reality too long, do you just lose the ability to think beyond it?

*Under Pressure - David Bowie and Queen


  1. anonymous hippopotamusMarch 30, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    daddy is just boring...thats why. and he thinks hes cool when he says it can't be...i think he thinks it makes him seem smarter and older and wiser.

    but as someone older than you.. i have not lost my imagination.. so there is hope! :D

    oh and hish never was too imaginative...but i turned him around..and he's freaking ancient. so yeah.. theres hope and only boring people who think that you can't be a grown up and have an imagination are the ones who end up losing theirs.

  2. Well... it can't be a part of growing up - look at all the grown writers out there of every age :)

    I better never lose my imaginations - I've got years of books in my head - including 6 more years of Elementalists at least... maybe longer if life interrupts

  3. anonymous hippopotamus... lol you're like barely older than me. and i still don't see hish as being too imaginative, but i'll take your word for it.

    Hannah... yeah, that's where my hopes lay. if they can hold on to their imagination, then i can. and wow six more years of the elementalists. it seems like such a small number until you think of it in terms of years. they're gonna need their own book shelf when the series is done.

  4. anonymous hippopotamusMarch 31, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    hahaha i know! i was trying to make you feel better. :P but hish has gotten an imagination...its awesome! :D :D

    i don't think you lose your imagination...i think its a either choose to keep it and stay young or give it up because you want to seem mature.

    ppl think imagination = immature so they choose to stop. ya know?

  5. i guess... that's what the last part of the post is about, though. do you get the choice or do circumstances decide it for you? like maybe you star pushing it away little by little because of your life at the moment and then one day you wake up and realize its gone and you can't even remember what it tasted like.

  6. I think people just stop making time for their imagination and it dries up ^^

    All you have to do, is be able to look around at the world and see some magick in it. I doesn't take up any extra time in the day, but people never realise that. Life is too busy for them and they just stress over everything.

    My solution - no stress and look at the world around me. You can see the magick every day. In a raindrop, or that beam of sumlight breaking through the clouds. In every living thing you see around you.

    And yeah... seems like forever... 6 years - That's about when I want to start a family if I can.... Wow.... But it's only 6 more books after this one.
    Although, with uni, I may need more time for a few of the books :p

  7. i like your solution. i think i will adopt it as my own.

    personally, i had more free time after high school than i did in it - less time in classes and all that. i also seemed to get a lot less done, though, but you seem to be better at not wasting your life completely than i am. i have hope that you'll finish in the six years.

  8. Make it 10 years, to give me some extra leeway :p

    Nah - hopefully 6, but may take a little longer. I keep losing motivation to keep writing :p

    And my solution works on people who have lost their imagination. If you can get them to see that little spark, the joy is returned to their world. After all, how can the world be great if you can explain everything with science. It's nicer to invent some crazy stories, like faeries changing the seasons, to make the world seem like a more special and exciting place