Monday, May 30, 2011

granddaughters and dreams....

I've quoted this from Denise Levertov, one of my favorite poets, before...but I'm too lazy to go find out where.

Ms. Levertov said, at a meeting of poets and theologians (what a novel and wondrous concept!!!)

"The Crisis of Faith is the Crisis of the Imagination. If we cannot 'imagine' walking on the waters, how are we to meet Jesus there?"

We drove back from Baltimore today in 5 hours--door to door with a stop in NJ for gas, bathrooms and a Popeye's shrimp Po-boy---fabulous sandwich! Fried popcorn shrimp, mayo, pickles, lettuce and honey-mustard sauce on a soft, extra large hot dog bun. Popeye's is about the most tasty of all fast food, I think. Still, we pulled off Toone Street at 4:30 and into our driveway at 9:30, 281 miles and didn't even slow up at the tolls for the GW Bridge or across the bridge to 9-A and then the Merritt. Amazing, I think.

Being with my granddaughters--Bern and I kept Mogan and Emma, the twins, while Baby Tegan stayed with Cathy's parents. Josh and Cathy on a weekend in New York, all alone, no kids, lunch with our daughter and Tim on Sat and with close friends on Sunday. They had a great time. We had a great time.

Except...Whenever I'm with my granddaughters I realize how bereft of 'imagination' my life is. One example: we set up their pool on the back deck and could hardly keep them out of the water. Morgan and Emma (they'll be 5 in Sept) and I were out there. I'll do a Virginia Woofian 'train of consciousness' description of about 10 minutes, which won't do the 10 minutes any justice at all.

Both girls in the pool.

'Pretend we're Mermaids', Emma.

'We're Mermaids in our Castle in our cave', Morgan.

'Pretend we're asleep in our beds...." E

'And the water is our covers...' M

'Pretend I'm asleep and you wake me up...' E

'Wake up Mermaid, it's time for dinner....' M

They both jump out of the pool and go to the table where Bern has put dozens of things that can hold and pour water. They start pouring water from the pool into two dozen thing....

'Pretend I'm the Mama and you're the baby...' E

'Mama, I'm hungry....' M

'I'm fixing you tea and soup....' E

'Pretend I'm the mommy and you're the daddy....' M

'I'm hungry....' E

'I'm cooking dinner right now...' M

'pretend i'm a mermaid and you're fixing me sea weed....' E

E jumps in pool. M brings seaweed.

'Pretend I can't speak," E, making elaborate signs toward her mouth and throat.

'What happened to your voice, mermaid?' M, 'Can you sing?'

E begins a haunting mermaid song, a siren song at least, luring sailors to their death.

'pretend i'm a sea turtle and you're a mermaid,' M, making a good imitation of a sea turtle in the pool.

'pretend I'm a human being," E, 'look, I have legs....'

'pretend the girl wants a sea turtle for a pet,' M, swimming over.

Ok, that's about 3 minutes of the 10 and I'm frazzled trying to follow it all. Back and forth they go, most sentences beginning, "Pretend that...." and no plot developing because the next "pretend that..." changes the reality all together.

They include me, "Gampy, pretend you're the Mermaid, grandpaw...."

I get involved in trying to convince them that a grandpaw would be a Mer-Man and they loose interest in me, trying to impose reason on imagination, trying to teach when they are playing, trying to talk 'sense' when they are talking 'dreams, dreams, dreams and more dreams...."

"pretend that......"

I'm going to try real hard this week to recapture the 'pretend that...' that drives me, really drives me, really makes me alive. Like pretending that I am happy always, pretending that I am brave and strong, pretending that I can make a difference in life, pretending that life is so magical that I am a goof-ball for not living with imagination and wonder every moment I am given.

"Pretend That" is being in the ultimate 'present' of life--not the past or future, just right here, right now.

That, all the mystics of my Christian faith, have taught 'is the answer' to life's persistent questions. "Just BE".

Imagine that! 'Pretend that you are living in the moment...each shifting ever changing moment...and that in each of those moments you are fully present, fully engaged, fully alive....

That wouldn't be bad, would it?

In fact that might just begin to teach us something about what Jesus meant by 'life and life in abundance.....'

"Pretend that you have life in abundance every moment, every moment of your life...."

"Pretend that....."

Just imagine....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.