Monday, January 11, 2016

Reaching

A popular post from November 2011

By: Julie Wright

I took the kids to Disneyland a few weeks ago.  There is something absolutely right with a place that allows people to feel comfortable wearing mouse ears, princess costumes, and pirate hats--not only comfortable, but in style.

Something I'd never noticed before (and I've been to Disneyland a lot in my life) is how much reaching happens at the happiest place on Earth. There were bubble machines and tiny hands stretching out to touch the perfect orbs floating on the breeze. On Pirates of the Caribbean, there's a smoke screen with an image of Davy Jones reflected on it. Hands reached up as the little boat passed through the screen of fog, the mist slipping through fingertips.

It was the tribute to Captain EO 3D show where I realized a problem in society. The 3D image of a little creature floated in the air in front of me. I wanted to reach out, but the logic in me wouldn't allow me to do something so childish. Logic stated that the creature wasn't really there and therefore reaching was foolish. But I wanted to reach--wanted to see my hand in comparison to the picture, not because I thought I could touch the little creature, but because I wanted to simply SEE.

I smiled to myself when my youngest son did reach--doing the thing I could not allow myself to do. But then my teenaged daughter snatched at his hand and whispered, "Don't! You just look stupid. There's nothing there."

He quickly dropped his hand to the side and I could feel his shame in his own sense of wonder.

My heart broke. It broke because she is growing up and with that, she is putting aside wonder for the solidity found in grown-up logic. And it broke because he stopped reaching and I worried he might not reach again.

I wanted to be so many things when I grew up--a ballerina, an advertising agent, a writer, a photographer, an archaeologist like Indiana Jones, an actress . . . and so much more. And then came a time where I stopped reaching. I even put aside writing for a time while I chased solid things like steady paychecks and a 401K.

And then one day I realized I could reach and be solid--all at the same time. I simply gave myself the present of fifteen minutes a day. In fifteen minutes I could stretch out those reaching muscles and live in the realm of wonder.

Anytime the arts are pursued, there will be people to snatch away your hands and whisper that you're being foolish--there is nothing there.

But if you never reach, you prove them right.

If you give yourself the present of a little time each day, you will create the thing you're reaching towards. There is nothing there--not until you create it into existence.

That's what Walt Disney did. That's why there is a Disneyland out there, encouraging other people to do the same thing.

6 comments:

Krista said...

This is wonderful. Thanks, Julie. I think I might have reached. My daughter would have snickered at me. I love my writing time!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

oh, that is so sad to think he might stop reaching. We just got back from Disney World...so I can totally relate.

The Survival Mama said...

poignant. poetic. perfect.

You nailed it. We could all use a bit more wonder.

Travelin'Oma said...

This is a magic post. Thanks!

Crawford Family said...

What a great thought! People do tend to stop reaching because of logic. May you let your inner child choose sometimes!

Anonymous said...

This was a beautiful post. Thank you so much!