Monday, May 23, 2011

Willy Wonka had it right

"There is no
Life I know
To compare with
Pure Imagination
Living there
You'll be free
If you truly wish to be"

Over the course of the weekend, this song has been playing over and over again in my mind. I suppose the muse wanted me to write about it this morning. So here I go...

Willy Wonka had it right. In his case, he was talking about his candy creations but still he had it right. Imagination is one of the best things in the world. Everyone is born with one. Just watch very small children to prove this fact. A pot and a pan can become a drum set. A bowl of water becomes a witches cauldron. A scrap of paper becomes a waitress notepad. Children turn everything into anything.

Some might say that the digital age is the killing imaginations of our children. I would have to agree with this statement to some extent. As a child, it was expected that we went outside to play when the sun was up and out. We weren't allowed to sit and watch tv for hours on end. Let the truth be known, when I was little there wasn't a lot on tv for kids, outside of Saturday morning cartoons. I think about the vast quantity of cable stations that devote their programming solely for kids. It's mind boggling. Why should children "pretend" any more? They can now see things on a 46-inch flat screen twenty-four hours a day. My mother didn't expect us home before the street lights came on. We didn't have X-box360, PS3, and the Wii. We had bikes, roller skates, and the sun.

At night, my dolls played out the stories that I created in my mind. I remember playing with dolls well into sixth grade and being very sad when my friends thought it was too babyish and we all stopped. It wasn't the act of playing with the dolls  that I mourned but the outlet for my imagination. This was when I started writing stories down in notebooks. One of my favorite places to write was at the water. Living in Rhode Island, we are surrounded by water. I just happen to grow up in a part where I am surrounded by it on three sides of my town. At the end of my mother's street is a boat dock and when the water is at low tide, there are interesting rock formations that are uncovered. I used to sit there for hours on those rocks (remember couldn't play inside) and write my stories.  Waves lapping all around me, there were many times, I came home wet having to wade though water because I was caught up and had not paid attention to the tide coming in. It's funny because I still find water inspiring to me. I come up with some of my best material when I'm in the bathtub.

Do you have a special place that inspires your imagination?

Peace out,


  1. I'm a water person too. I can sit at the beach or near the water and get lost. That's one of the things I love about living in RI. It's only a short drive to see the ocean. :)

  2. Living out in Kansas, I don't get to see much water. I did love going out to our falling-down barn when I was little. I'd sing to the cows sometimes. They never complained about my lack of vocal abilities. Came up with some strange story ideas there too.

  3. OH, I SO related to having a doll in the sixth grade and finally having to give them up. Sigh. I so hated leaving that part of my childhood behind.

    I don't have a special place for my imagination now, but I DID as a child. Our fig tree in the back yard. I'd take my drawing or writing tablet, climb in the tree under all the big leaves and write my heart away. It was even more wonderful in the rain, because the leaves were so huge and flat, the rain drops would not touch me. It was my magic place.

    Thank you for bringing back the lovely memory to me.