Friday, March 28, 2014

A Vivid Imagination

Throughout most of my life I've had what is known as a vivid imagination. Make-believe and pretend would be such a big part of my childhood. Sometimes when things were particularly scary, I'd become someone else in my head for a while. I think it helped to keep the frightening events at bay, even lessen them a bit.

I loved old television programs like "Lost in Space." My cousins and I would become the characters from shows like this for hours. Though Anna, my cousin, was only months older than me, she usually got to "be" the better characters, the popular ones, while I had the middle ones such as Will and Penny. Her younger sister, Patty was most unfortunate for she had the roles of The Robot and Dr. Smith. Well, that's what happens when you're the baby. My parent's basement would be transported into The Jupiter II. The outside of my home would be other places far, far away.

 Our grandparents talked often about "the old country" as if it were from another world and most definitely from another time. Anna and I had the bright idea that we could travel to this place if we gathered the crates which had held our Nono's grapes for wine-making. Painstakingly, we put the purple- stained crates together, forming them into a sort-of train. We hopped aboard and in our imaginative minds, we were there, wherever there was, the scent of grapes intoxicating.

Once we found an old box in our Nonna's attic. Nothing had ever seemed more intriguing. For in it were old clothes, light chiffon outfits and sparkly dresses. The old cardboard box seemed bottomless as we dug deeper and deeper into it for more priceless treasures. We would play for hours at dress up becoming whoever we wanted to be.

Another childhood wonder was the old button box. Every grandma had one. Scads of colorful buttons piled atop each other in an old tin. Bright buttons, ones with fake jewels in the center. It would become an all day affair finding just the right buttons to "become" family members. We chose pretty white buttons to portray our mothers. My own button was blue with a diamond in the center. But our grandma's button was best of all, for she was always the "queen" and a special decorative button would always portray our Nonna. Since buttons were so small, our "people" would have mansions to live in as we used our grandmother's living room for their homes. Nobody ever got sick in these imaginative worlds. Nobody ever fought or grew tired of one another.

I wonder if children have lost something in this age of I-pads, smart phones, video games and such. How will they discover the potential that lies within? That untapped imagination that will take them to other places, walk in another's shoes for just a bit. A world where anything is possible, if only in they believe.


  1. Excellent post! I couldn't agree more with what you've written. The only difference is I liked being Batman when I was growing up. I think "untapped imagination" are the right words.

  2. I love that wording, Michael. Untapped imagination indeed!! Thanks for the comment!