Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Little worlds

I loved toy soldiers as a boy and still have some on my desk, and in my games they would come alive. I also remember breaking some of my favorites when I was too ill to hold them on a hospital tray; one of those injured toy soldiers has been a important link for me in reaching to a younger self to support him in a time of pain and loneliness.

This relates to my long-running dream series (going all the way back into childhood) of living dioramas. Over and over again, I find myself looking into a miniature building or landscape - and then discovering that everything in the scene is alive. I can move the "pieces" around, or shrink myself to their scale and observe or interact with them on their own stage, which often proves to be a place in another time or another country


nina said...
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Patricia said...

Hello Robert,
Reading this reminds me of journeying and dream reentry. Marvelous way to tap into these mind, body and soul skills for children I believe. There is deep healing in the ability to quiet the mind and senses. To quiet the mind and senses past pain or hypersensitivity without closing them down, and then in that place of stillness to call up a focus and strrreeetch into new levels of sensing as the mind experiences, has got to be so healing for the body. I imagine you have great fun at art centers.
I do admire the man with the cigar. A man who's statue has no pigeon poop on it, must have been a rather electrify man.

Ann Frazier West said...

Robert, reading about your times of illness and your soldiers coming to life reminds me of something similar in my own childhood - and helps me understand and share in your childhood imagination a bit. My father always read to me when I was bedridden with a childhood illness. I recall one occasion when he read Robert Louis Stevenson's "Land of Counterpane" and how I loved it - so much that I wanted to act it out. He brought me a package of the straight clothespins which I colored like British soldiers - the red coats - and stood them and marched them across my "land of counterpane." As a child, I enjoyed the toys and games of little boys more than those of little girls. Thank you for this wonderful memory. I hope you will write a full autobiography someday.

Ann West

Robert Moss said...

Ann - I love your vignette of marching the clothespeg soldiers across the Land of Counterpane.

Robert Moss said...

Nina - Your dream of the giant and his thumb-sized son leads me to think, as you did, about what is is large and placid, and what is small and quick and eager in myself. My mind goes back to a dream of a decade ago in which I observed a giant bear lurching about on a motorway far below the mountain peak where I was sitting. When I reentered the dream, I found that the giant bear was a shadow the moon had cast, shining behind the shoulders of my dream self.

Robert Moss said...

Patty, Young children, as you know well, are the true masters of imagination and grown-ups need to study with them, as well has help to nurture their gifts. Whenever an adult tells me that he or she lacks imagination, I respond "The child in you has all the imagination you need, it's just a matter of letting that child out to play."

I've been dreaming of that man with a cigar (Churchill) all of this life.