Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dream On

"I shut my eyes in order to see."
-Paul Gauguin

When I was three years old and my brother was six, the latter caught a glimpse of the film 'Planet of the Apes' on television and then quietly went to his bedroom.
Some minutes later Mater heard a bump and a thundering crash.
It is one of my very first memories: Mater trying to force my brother's door open and struggling against the enormous wooden wardrobe that had tumbled against the doorway. My brother was caught in the space under it, calling placidly for help.
I have an image of my frantic, anxious mother running to the house next door and of our neighbour at last pushing his way into the room to rescue my trapped and stunned brother.
My sorry sibling explained afterward that he had just wanted to be an ape. He had been practicing his climbing skills until the wardrobe ceased to oblige him.
Imagination is an extraordinary thing, made more so by the fact that a good number of adults are embarrassed to employ it. Instead they confine it to the realms of childhood fancy.
I do not recommend for one single moment that television's influence is a positive one on young minds, but at that moment my brother believed anything in the world was within his reach. Hardly a bad thing as long as one discounts the unsteadiness of his climbing equipment.
I find it a most stirring picture: my brother's small fingers grasping the lip of the hulking wardrobe, he himself hanging on the cusp of possibility.

Reader, what aspirations and dreams did you have when you were little?


julochka said...

it's not really a dream or aspiration, but it was something inspired by t.v.--i thought the local news people on t.v. could SEE me. someone must have told me about "local" vs. nation, because i knew walter kronkite couldn't see me, but those people from the CBS affiliate in Sioux Falls, they could definitely see into our living room.

julochka said...

that was nationAL, i'm delirious with jetlag...

polona said...

i always enjoyed watching the wildlife documentaries on tv and dreamed that i would become a famous explorer and world traveler.

however, i do most of my travels from the armchair :)

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Julie, welcome back. That's a weird and wonderful tale :)
"i knew walter kronkite couldn't see me" - this had me laughing
Your slight error is forgiven. Jetlag is a cruel phenomenon.

Polona, an explorer- that's great. I liked the wildlife shows myself, when I did manage to watch television, but had to look away from the cruel moments when bigger animals caught little ones. An explorer is a pretty good aspiration :)

Beth said...

I'm with Polona--I used to love Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and the Born Free movies. I always dreamed of going to Africa and living amongst the animals and writing about them. Thanks for the chance to remember that.

Pappy said...

I guess the first dream of what I might be was centered in the cowboy movies I used to watch. I ended up carrying a gun everyday for thirty years, but I never had a horse. :)

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Beth, I love the Born Free movies. I haven't seen them in years but I always remember the music, and I read the book.
Texican, those kinds of movies were great. Scenes of wide open spaces- and an enormous sense of freedom. If I watch any now I'll just be aspiring to go back to California/Nevada area :)

tangobaby said...

I don't remember anything particularly inspiring about tv. But I do remember my sister and I used to build forts out of blankets and kitchen chairs and pretend we were in the Sahara desert.

And I had a relief/topographical map of the moon from NASA and was convinced that someday I would be an astronaut and walk on the moon.


Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Tangobaby- forts out of blankets. I did that myself. I made tents by hanging blankets over chairs. I had forgotten all about that :)
And you actually had a map of the moon- that's amazing.
To me, NASA was a far-off entity only spoken of in films so that would have been amazing, to have a map of the moon.
Great thoughts.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

in 1960 (when I was 5) I saw peter pan (starring mary martin) I was totally taken by the film and proceeded to fly (jump from one piece of furniture to another) for months. for years I was smitten by this notion of human flight - all I can say is thank goodness I never took my experiments in flight to the roof.....however, later when I was a teen I was quite adapt of climbing out of my second floor bedroom window to the fireplace hump that was about 12 or 15 feet off the ground and then jumping off that to the ground. the closest I ever came to human flying....

my fascination with flight probably also explained why from age 9 to about 12 my life's ambition was to become a back then they were stewardesses not flight attendants.... I thought their life was so exciting going off everywhere.... fortunately as I got older I realized that women could become much more than: 1)teachers 2) nurses 3) flight attendants 4) mothers 5) nuns ....not to say anything is wrong with 1-5 as career choices, but they were a bit limited!

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

Kimy, that's a great story- well, two of them. I can just picture you in flight from one part of the room to another.
I thought about being a stewardess too, until I flew for the first time and understood they have to work with hardly any room to maneuver.
Ever notice that people always stand up to use the restroom on a plane when the cart is being pushed around and the aisle is blocked? I don't have patience to deal with impatient passengers.

Please look around, explore my writing, leave a crumb:
I welcome comments and thoughts.