Saturday, October 25, 2008

witchy women and imagination

I just got this picture of my girls all agrin ... all decked out for 'trick or treating'. Lots of people have opinions about hallowe'en but I remember my mom reading a book called "Honey for a Child's Heart" which was all about the necessity of play and imagination. My mom, who was on the conservative side, took it to heart and told me to encourage my kids to enter into fantasy. I'm glad she did that.

Walking through a park today JV reiterated that he had been 'costume deprived' as a child. Always the 'homeless' person ... and his brother a 'hockey player' - which he was. Rae was usually an old man ...which somehow fit her and tickled her funny bone.

In light of these bits and the overshadowing financial crisis in America, I am thinking about what we really need, and what we have. Our expectations have grown. Quite a bit. We expect real life to be what imagination used to conjure up.

The seeming deprivations of my youth were the same deprivations of my husband's youth - albeit we lived in the same city, same neighborhood, dad's both worked at the steel mills. Perhaps there was great wealth in someone's life, but we and our friends had pretty ordinary dreams - to one day own a car, have our own 'place', order a pizza now and then, and to see Detroit Red Wings play live (that last one wasn't my dream but it seemed to keep coming up.)

Our dates were mostly walks, down to the escarpment across which hoards of crows flew every night on the way home from the dump ground, to look at the city lights and lake Ontario off to the NorthEast, or to the old Chinese restaurant beside the 25cent theatre. Sometimes we played tennis in the open tennis court by the school, sometimes we sat on the gravestones in Hamilton Munipical Cemetery. On a good date someone would be being buried.

But we laughed til we were almost sick. We imagined and played and cavorted and never once felt ill done by. Only now, looking back from the mountain of goods my life sits on do I feel regret.

So maybe we need to sharpen our imaginations, begin to walk and to play and to create our magic along the sidewalks of life. Maybe we don't need fantastic experiences, newness always and procured happiness. Maybe we need a magic wand made out of a stick and a shared box of Kung Pow Chicken with fried rice. And a 25cent movie.

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