Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Ghost of my Imagination

My daughters can easily find themselves frightened. An odd noise, a dark room, and they easily see the materialization of something unseen, of something other, of something frightening. And it doesn't surprise me that this is the case. Their imaginations are flourishing to such a bright and pretty place, it's not wonder the shadows are all the darker.

This morning, while getting my girls in the car for their mom to go get their eyes checked, Luna told me about how her friend, Cheer Rainbow, had a pretend unicorn for a friend. Cheer Rainbow--some sort of a totally ridiculous pony that follows Luna around--is so real to her that she even has her own imaginary friends. Now don't get me wrong, Cheer Rainbow isn't always fun to have around--for example, I regularly have to go and get her from the basement where she gets stuck every so often--but it is delightful to know that there are those with such rich imaginations.

The reflection of that imagination is found at night, with ghosts making sounds or aliens out in the bushes (I should note that there's a part of me that doesn't doubt the sounds could have been ghosts and dreads the thought of little eyes staring back from the bushes). But I find myself jealous of the fear that they experience.

It sounds stupid, because the last thing I want is to be actually afraid. But I used to like making myself scared. I loved camping and fearing what was out there. I loved watching scary movies and finding myself unable to sleep. I loved the dusky nights just before Halloween, reading Ray Bradbury stories and knowing that there is more to our world than I'd like there to be.

Even as recently as high school (or maybe, sometimes, college), I found myself unable to walk through a dark hallway without putting my fists up. But this past week, my wife and I have been renting horror movies and I have to say that they've done nothing for me.

Can it be that my imagination has withered to the point of not being able to be scared by a horror movie at all? That may not be so surprising, I suppose, as most of today's horror movies rely on gore to disquiet the nerves and that has never affected me much. But shouldn't I be open enough to imagination to have trouble sleeping after seeing a ghost movie while I'm living in a old house that I just moved into? (okay, 1408 was a good movie, and tense, but I slept totally fine)

I can't help but to think that something is lost. It could be that since I am no longer the center of my world, I fear something happening to my family a thousand times more than something happening to myself. I can't stand stories or movies where a kid dies. But I don't get scared, just disturbed and angry at the thought.

I don't want to think that the practical world is so important to me that I can't suspend disbelief long enough to get lost in a movie. Maybe the stories weren't good enough. Maybe the characters weren't convincing. Or, just maybe, my problem is the same problem that prevents me from seeing Cheer Rainbow and her imaginary, imaginary unicorn.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Sometimes we're just so worried about so many things that things like this is not really bothering us anymore. I know your sentiments and thanks for sharing them. Keep up the good postings. By the way, these best gifts that you could give your better-half might interest you too. Thanks and have a nice and fulfilling day.