The Forgotten Imagination; The Neverland

“I don’t know whether you have ever seen a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island, for Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. It would be an easy map if that were all, but there is also first day at school, religion, fathers, the round pond, needlework, murders, hangings, verbs that take the dative, chocolate pudding day, getting into braces, say ninety-nine, three-pence for pulling out your tooth yourself, and so on, and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through, and it is all rather confusing, especially as nothing will stand still.”

J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan and Wendy

Growing Down to Build Up Your Creativity

030When I was younger, I made large chalk drawings on the road outside my house. The driveway wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t want to be contained — I wanted space and freedom to make huge drawings of faces with gaping mouths and wild hair. I would wear down the chalk until it was as tiny as a pebble in my hand, and then I would wear it down more, my fingertips scraping the pavement.

I was so consumed by the drawing I was making that I was never truly conscious of my location: the road. Although my family lived on a quiet street, I still played in the domain of vehicles. The possible danger of being run over by a car simply never occurred to me. I didn’t worry about the risk I took to make my (what I thought were) amazing chalk drawings by being on the road. I was young, and my creativity stretched further than the confines and safety of the driveway. Continue reading