November 18, 2008

The Magic Lantern...

As a child, perhaps my favorite toy ever was a magic glow in the dark lantern that was for viewing pictures.

What Proustian transports of joy were mine as I'd close off all the hallway doors to create the darkest space in the house, and then gaze for hours into the glowing magic of this toy! I can't recall any of the actual slides... I think they were cartoons of some sort. But I do recall the colors. The glowing blues that shimmered beside the golden yellows and the deep rich reds.

It was sheer magic, looking into this plastic toy. I see now why I turned out an artist instead of an investment banker.

There was a depth to the colors that was enchanting... it took me to a place I never knew existed. Just looking was like being a traveler invited over the bridge to another world.

Of course I had other favorite places to hide. The snuggest and most comforting was beside the kitchen oven, tucked like a little kitty down in between the stove and the kitchen wall, where a heat vent warmed me from the other side. I imagine cookies might have been baking there too in the perfection of memories past.

The other secret hideaway was the attic. It was full of that same mystery. Timeless and secret. Only the attic was always hot and insanely dark and treacherous to get to... but I'd go there because it seemed so far away and mysterious. I'd carry along a little battery operated fan to cool my face. It didn't work at all, of course.

Ah... the the mysteries of childhood. As a child I always believed that at the zoo there must surely be magic too behind the polar bear's and lion's enclosures. There was a sort of castle built up out of a rockery. It was only up to me to get beyond the fence to unlock the secret details for getting inside... none of which were ever revealed by real life.

1 comment:

natural attrill said...

What a lovely read, thanks for that.
I think I became an 'artist' because I didnt have anywhere to escape to in our house, and so escaped into my head and spent ages drawing and painting from a very early age.