Friday, 22 November 2013

Into the Stereo Shell

When I was a child I had a space I called my very own in our basement. It was an old door mounted on top of four red milk crates. It had this itchy red curtain that hung from the ceiling and drooped across it so no one could see in and I couldn't see out. I had some chairs up there in my basement fort. Mine was a green vinyl mini lazyboy like recliner. There was also a wooden black rocking chair that sat behind that curtain. It had gold flowers delicately painted on it. When you rocked, it was supposed to play music. The music box had long since broke off of its back leg. I remember running my finger across the metal tube and watching the metal teeth fumble over the bumps that were supposed to create the song. I never did quite figure out what that rocker was trying to say. No one was allowed to sit in that chair. I'm not sure why. I always found it tragic that I hadn't taken the time to listen to it's music before it was too late. I could spend hours behind that curtain. It was a place where I could let my imagination run away with me. I could become anyone or anything.    Right across from my red fort was one of those old record players. You know the ones that look like long console tables? It had huge buttons that challenged my tiny fingers. One year, we got a new stereo and someone took all of the stereo's insides...outside.  One day, I trot downstairs and all of my toys are missing. I turn to this stereo shell and slowly lift the top and peer down to see all of my toys inside this dead music box. I couldn't reach some of them because they were so far down.  Creative idea that, a stereo reborn into a childs toy box. My mom had a pair of blue suede platform heels that I would try on from time to time. I decided to put those friggin things on and clogged my way over to that dead music box and reeeeaaached down in a failed attempt to touch the bottom. Eventually I gave up trying to reach and hiked that disco shoe over the edge and dove myself into that case. I'd swim down to the bottom and shut the lid. It felt good to be around old friends again and I would sing at the top of my lungs. Breathing the air that record player did. I swore I sounded just as good-if not better. My stuffed friends and I  would sail through the ocean or fly through the clouds in my stereo shell.  When our adventure was over, I'd come up for air and run to my phone, you know the ones with the big googly eyes on the front, big red wheels, it made squeaky noises when you pulled it, anyway I would dial up an imaginary friend and we'd chit chat about our day.
  As adults, we often don't have a space to call our own. We forget how to spend time alone, with ourselves. We forget how to use our imaginations. My son reminds me everyday that I can still get lost in my imagination. We are meant to use our imaginations, to play, to dream. We become adults and we think using our imaginations is silly and a waste of time. I don't have a space anymore that is just mine. My son has claimed pretty much every space in our house. But give me a pad of paper and some pencils or a canvas and some paints and I am lost for hours. My livingroom often transforms into a dance floor or a stage.  Sometimes we need to allow our imaginations to carry us away from the reality of our busy lives. Sometimes we need to get lost in ourselves. To be honest, I think it is healthy to play a little everyday. It is important to stay in touch with the child inside. To play, to imagine, to believe, to honour ourselves by keeping in touch with our dreams. Now, I am not suggesting you start walking around talking to imaginary friends. Become a rock star, colour something, don't step on sidewalk cracks, build a fort and then get lost in it, climb a tree.  Stop 'acting' like an adult for a moment. Become carefree and childish.  Use your imagination, set yourself free...allow yourself to just BE.

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