Friday, January 31, 2014

where dwell the brave at heart

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.

Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
Roald Dahl

When I was little, the highlights of my life were the moments of uninterrupted imagination.
Why deny it? I loved stories, and I still do.

My dad was the most wonderful storyteller. He was a visionary, molding us into an epic adventure straight from our bedsides. I would bolt downstairs into the territory of my three brothers, and we would all gather around to hear the latest tales of us. Our magical encounters, terrifying battles, beautiful friendships. Wizards and dragons and flying treehouses, oh my!

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

Albert Einstein

What a beautiful time that was. How extraordinary is the imagination? 

Ask the brothers who played with a small toy helicopter as children, which sparked their interest in flying. Who later closely observed the wings of birds in flight, and applied that to the invention of the airplane. 

Ask the young boy whose curiosity for the world made him naturally sensitive to poetry, art and music, which was encouraged by his mother. And later, when his mother began to go deaf, he learned alternative ways to communicate with her -- eventually studying acoustics and inventing the telephone.

Ask the boy who moved constantly as a child, but preoccupied himself with lessons led by his mother, such as drawing plants and trees and studying languages, specifically Latin. Who learned how to read and write at age four, and continued to write one of the most celebrated high fantasy series of all time.

Really, ask any teacher, adventurer, artist, writer, photographer, inventor...
And anyone who has ever been in contact with, influenced by, or inspired because of them.
That's everyone, people. All of you crazy wonderful beings with the God-given ability to imagine. 

gate at versailles

Parents and adults can create such an astounding magic when they say the right thing at the right time in a child's life. When they play, cultivating a child's mind by providing opportunities to develop the wondrous muscles of their imaginative worlds.

Did you know that imagination is contagious?

A child's heart and mind is so easily reached and influenced through the boulevard of make-believe.
They can make something dry and empty into something charming, engaging, humorous and alive. 
They are at the peak of their imaginative strength -- stretching their muscles of discovery and creativity like a lamb in its gambols. 
From the daydreams of the young and innocent may come the revolutionary, amazing, transcendent accomplishments of the adult.

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith.

R.A. Salvatore

I suppose I'm saying all of this for you make-believe naysayers, the ones who tell children they're liars if they say they spent all day playing in a fairy forest with a grizzly bear whose favorite ice cream is strawberry.
For the people that send kids to time out for having an imaginary friend.
For the people that put Winnie the Pooh on the Banned Books list.
And, okay, I may as well say it: for those that condemn books like Harry Potter without even opening the pages, unable to see the love, friendship, courage, victory, and truth that is prevalent throughout.

For the people that misunderstand the purpose of the imagination, and what a beautiful and powerful gift it is.

This post is for the souls out there who need to be touched by the magic of storytelling - even if you think you've outgrown it, even if you think you don't need it -- that probably just means you need it more than anyone else in the world.

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