Monday, August 22, 2005

Painted Wings and Giant's Rings

I had a dream about a childhood friend of mine last night. In my dream we were kids again. The dream was unremarkable, in the sense that we were just hanging out and doing nothing in particular. In fact it seemed to be more of a rediscovered memory clip than a fabricated vision as dreams usually are.

This friend and I are still in touch, though we do not keep in touch very well. There is an entire country between us now, and we are each involved in our own tangle of events that make up our lives. But there was a time we were inseparable. We hung out every day, walking to and from school together during the year and playing from dawn till nightfall on breaks and weekends and through the summer.

I was never a girly-girl, and playing Barbies and Miss America and House with the other young ladies in the neighborhood was never quite my thing. Boys were much more fun to hang out with. Particularly him, pretty much the only kid around whose imagination was as bizarre and complex as my own.

Between the two of us, we had the world’s nerdiest toy collection. Microscopes, telescopes, electronics kits, chemistry sets, fluorescent paints and crayons. I had a little mono-speaker tape recorder, and we spent countless hours putting together little radio programs and interviews and skits and bits on tinny sounding cassette tapes. We were chased out of the house more than once for making incessantly annoying noises with an audile electronics project or smoking up the lower level of the house with an experiment gone awry. But outside was just as much fun. We would brave through the poisonous ozone layer at a certain points in the neighborhood, taking care not to breathe the noxious atmosphere therein. We would travel the hidden star systems of the suburban streets at warp 1, 2, or 10 by pedaling furiously on our bikes. Dandelion heads still pinched closed made fine space capsules for Dr. Who, and our bat kites were guided by the steady wisdom and foresight of Mission Control far below them on planet Earth.

We had a scrap piece of plywood on which we carefully inscribed a list of games we created. On rainy days or those too foul for outside play, we would refer to the board for ideas on how to occupy ourselves. There had to be about a hundred suggestions penned onto that board, games ranging from unruly pet aliens to inventing new snacks to exercises in testing telepathic skills. Sometimes we’d forget what we were thinking of when we wrote down some name, but that was a perfect opportunity to create a new game for such a title.

Yes, we were a wee bit precocious. But we had the best time, and there were few dull moments. It was in those days that we inadvertently learned of the power of creative imagination. That in every crevice of the world, there is something in which to find interest – and if not in your surroundings, than within yourself. There is neither a reason nor an excuse to ever be bored and have nothing to do.

These are lessons I am realizing I need to revisit and relearn. I am also thinking that I need to reconnect with my friend.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure he'd appreciate it. He's special to me in much the same way. Before we got married (and subsequently divorced) we spent loads of time in our teenage years doing silly things and cooking up odd experiments (soapmaking and candlemaking, anyone?). Those were good times. Sometimes I think I picked up with him where you left off.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a good idea to reconect. Here is an tip: send him a list of those things you used to do when you were teenagers.

Anonymous said...

Ain't it cool when you find a friend that really gets who you are and appreciates that. I think the dream is just your heart's way of saying "Get in touch with him".