ReStore Relics, Habitat ReStore, 301 Piedmont Road, Charleston WV, November 2009. RFC Flashback: Episode 87
The Companionship of Imagination
I remember being a kid, I remember being a kid all too well. I remember it because there is always an element of our childhood in everything that we still say and do as adults. At the age of nine I wandered on the periphery of playgrounds, classrooms, churches, drifting along on my own thoughts, steeped in the immersion of my own pretend.
I both saw, and didn’t see, the other kids in the room: we spoke different languages, they and I. Always did.
When I took to the swingsets, I wasn’t swinging, I was flying; when I sailed down the slides, I wasn’t sliding, I was skiing; when I walked by myself at recess, I wasn’t walking; I was following my barely audible hum of the music in my head.
That music, so strange and beautiful, pulled me to it, as powerful as a real current, a current that started in the high grasses of the fields further back, and back and back from that, and as long as I followed, it would play, and where it would lead me, I thirsted to know.
More than anything, I longed to be in the nexus of that song. I didn’t know how to find it except to follow it. I didn’t know how to stop seeking it because I didn’t want to. In those nebulous mirages of sight and sound and feeling I knew comforts unlike any other.
And it was sweet, so much sweeter than the ringing silence of the playground, the lonely waiting to hear a childish invitation that never came (“Red Rover, Red Rover, let Sharon come over.”)
Not a lot changes, it seems, even after you grow up and have kids on your own to send to school. It emerges that despite my training, schooling, life adventures, I’m still strange and a little different with my head in the clouds and my eyes focused, at least sometimes, on a pretend no one else can see but me.
Did the loneliness make my imagination, or did my imagination make me lonely? I don’t know for sure; and I don’t know that I’d give it up, even if I did know.
-originally posted February 16, 2010.