Do you remember knowing that green was your favorite color because it’s what made the grass grow?
Do you remember when the 3-eyed, orange-fanged monster lurking under your bed was real (and smelly), waiting to pounce as soon as your toes touched the floor?
Do you remember how powerful and brave Dad was when he banished these beasts with a chanted command: “Go away, Go away! Nobody here wants to play!”
Do you remember when coloring outside the lines just meant you had more space to fill with brilliant colors?
Do you remember when ANYTHING was possible if you tried hard enough (especially if Dad was there to help during the hard parts)?
Suspending the willing suspension of disbelief
I can’t point to a specific point in time, but somewhere along the way, I stopped believing in magic. No Santa Claus. Flying meant buying a plane ticket. Dreams became strategic visions that were only implemented after a thorough feasibility study.
It wasn’t all bad. I learned that even though I was told babies were “delivered,” we get to play a pretty fun part in the production process. I learned that the human heart is more than an animated vessel that dispensed warm fuzzies, it’s an amazingly complex pump that continuously circulates life-sustaining blood. And those feasibility studies, they likely prevented countless disappointments from unrealized dreams strategic visions.
While I can’t point to a specific point in time that I stopped believing in magic, I CAN pinpoint the moment I wanted to start believing again.
A World According to Dina
Several months ago, while reading from my daily blogs on WordPress Reader, I came to a blog called “A World According to Dina.” I wouldn’t be surprised if you are already familiar, as it’s a wildly popular destination for photography enthusiasts, artists, and explorers. It’s hosted by four extraordinary Norwegian artists (the fab Four of Cley) who freely share art and experiences that most of us would pay admission to enjoy.
In this post, titled “Let’s go inside,” I was following along on an exhibition hosted by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami when I saw a photo of a girl standing before a wall-sized painting. I could only see a fraction of the painting, but what I could see was bizarre and fantastic. There were monsters and grotesque figures set against an underwater background. None of it made sense to me.
I only saw the girl from the back. Her little hands were reaching out towards the canvas. I couldn’t see her face but I was convinced, she believed. She connected with this fantastic world. And even more wondrous, she interacted with it. It was beautiful and inspiring. It was magical.
A Sketch According to Gabe
After receiving permission to try a sketch based on this photo (thanks again Fab Four of Cley for letting me play along), I tried to recreate the sense of wonder and willing suspension of disbelief that this little girl inspired.
Over the next few months, my efforts fell flat. Then I stumbled across another blog post written by Deconstructing Doctor. She reminded me of the fascination I felt so long ago when playing with things that grownups would consider ordinary (like a shiny penny). Because it was new and bizarre, my imagination had to fill in the blanks.
I took another stab at the sketch, this time trying not to worry about getting everything just right. Instead, I left plenty of spaces for imagination to fill in the blanks.
I don’t know how your imagination will fill in the blanks, but I hope you enjoy the sketch.
After all, don’t you want to believe in magic again?