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Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Mouse gives a lesson in creation theory

Magical child (from a Ragu ad in Oprah magazine)

I am sitting on an airplane next to a round-faced little girl in pink. Her mother calls her “Mouse” and isn’t interested in talking to her, but she’s full of curiosity about everything from the ventilation system to the creation of the world, so she plies me with questions and stories for the whole flight.

She gazes out the window as we skim the cloudbanks. “It looks like we’re flying on glass.”

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She asks, “Have you ever landed from the sky in water?”

“Not in this body.”

“But can people do that?”

“Oh, sure. There’s a kind of plane called a flying boat, or a seaplane, that lands on pontoons that keep it afloat. And then there are rocket ships that splash down and are fished out.”

“Have you ever touched the sun?”

“Not with my hand.”

“Sometimes I feel the sun is following me, real close.”

She thinks for a bit, then comes out with, “How was the world invented?”

“Some people say God made the world. Others say it began with a Bing Bang and the star-stuff has been expanding ever since.”

“I know a boy who says the world was made by God blowing sand.”

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I falter a bit, as she quizzes me further on cosmogony and the on how “Cheeses” (it takes me a moment to realize she is talking Jesus) was born. Then she looks up at the air vent and asks me to show her how it works. I demonstrate turning it counter-clockwise to let the air out, clockwise to shut it off.

“Maybe that’s how the universe was made,” Mouse says brightly. “Someone turned everything counter-clockwise.”

She laughs. Her mother looks sullen; it seems Mouse isn’t supposed to laugh.

I am so sorry for Mouse’s mother, because she is missing so much. Kids are the masters of imagination, and we gain so much by listening and sharing their stories, their dreams, their versions of reality. If mom would only listen to Mouse, then perhaps the 11-year-old inside the adult would come alive, bringing energy and joy and everyday magic. I profoundly hope that Mouse will survive the efforts to turn off her world of wonder, and will be able to claim the name and the role in life that pleases her.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Patricia

    Yesterday I put a picture up on my facebook page of two birds and a nest this little 5 year old created out of tiles. When I asked him for a story he said; The birds are flying. A big wind comes and pushes them into their nest. Then a big storm comes and they are safe in their nest. He’s a little boy with a “label”of ADHD and he is often being told to be quiet and sit down and listen. I find it awesome when you give him something to construct with, genuinely sit with him and Listen , how amazing his attention and mind is.
    I pray Mouse will remember your encounter and others will join her along the path to keep her energetic life and imaginal vehicle alive and flowing. You Robert did this for me and dreams. My imaginal mind is alive and skipping. Sometimes it gets shadowed, but stories like this have the sun shinning and the meadows wide open for the skipping. Ever since you helped me expand my reality 10 fold, I haven’t stopped giggling, exploring and nurturing my sometimes confused egoic self.

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