Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Where the Sidewalk Ends - I found it!

Many of you will remember this poem by the late, famed children's author Shel Silverstein:

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

I always thought this was an interesting concept. It's the modern, children's myth equivalent of the end of the world, the place in the ocean where the water just falls off the edge.

I am fortunate enough to recently have found.... *Drumroll* The End of the Sidewalk. ...And then several more.

The first one:

I was just walking along and then the sidewalk ended. I was like... well now what? I felt like Alice in Alice in Wonderland the cartoon movie, when the sweeping dog comes along and sweeps away her path.

So, with nothing else to do, I turned around and went back the way I came. No, I'm just kidding. I was a total rebel; I walked on the grass.

So that was interesting, but THEN a week or two later I went on a leisurely two hour bike ride with my Boy (yes, we're turning into one of THOSE couples; it's so depressing), and found three more!

If you happen to know of any sidewalk endings, I'd be interesting in seeing your pics. Show your endings!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lies as Creative Truth?

When we were children:

You were immortal. You could outgrow everyone, given enough time. You couldn't read. You needed a comfort object, or felt incomplete. Everything was bigger. There was always the chance that something magical would happen, that the adults were keeping some fantastic secret you might stumble across tomorrow. You believed your parents.

Read this list, taken from Mexican Pictures

Lies I've told my 3 year old recently

Trees talk to each other at night.

All fish are named either Lorna or Jack.

Before your eyeballs fall out from watching too much TV, they get very loose.

Tiny bears live in drain pipes.

If you are very very quiet you can hear the clouds rub against the sky.

The moon and the sun had a fight a long time ago.

Everyone knows at least one secret language.

When nobody is looking, I can fly.

We are all held together by invisible threads.

Books get lonely too.

Sadness can be eaten.

I will always be there.

Have you noticed that we don't 'play' anymore? Do any of you sit down with stuffed animals or plastic toys and just play with them? Why is that? What have we lost? Is it a way of living inside our own minds? Is it a lack of self-consciousness?

Take today to play mind games with yourself. Pretend that the books ARE actually lonely, that your toys get up and move when you're not in the room, that animals CAN actually talk, but they're not supposed to.

Report back.


Also, check out this Flickr photostream of two parents who make their children's imaginations come to life by creating animals and objects that their children draw.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Charles Bukowski

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has participated in the (I'm happy to say) intelligent discussion about this blog's integrity and dirty little habit of making fun of Christopher Paolini. You've all had interesting, mostly polite things to say, and I appreciate you using this blog as a forum for discussing proper decorum (I'm sorry, I couldn't help it; I had to rhyme) and in which direction this blog should be going.

That said, it's time for some old-fashioned writer-blogging.

Enter Charles Bukowski.

The Man, The Legend, the Writing. But we're only going to talk about the writing, specifically a poem that caught my eye and tugged at my heart.

As The Sparrow

To give life you must take life,
and as our grief falls flat and hollow
upon the billion-blooded sea
I pass upon serious inward-breaking shoals rimmed
with white-legged, white-bellied rotting creatures
lengthily dead and rioting against surrounding scenes.
Dear child, I only did to you what the sparrow
did to you; I am old when it is fashionable to be
young; I cry when it is fashionable to laugh.
I hated you when it would have taken less courage
to love.

The reason this spoke to me is because of the line "I only did to you what the sparrow/did to you."

I love how the last bit was dropped to the second line, and I love the implication of man vs. nature and man vs. man, but it leads me to this question: What exactly does he mean?

I have my own interpretation, but there's no reason for it to be right, or the only what. Tell me what you think. What did he do and what did the sparrow do?

This bird is called the Savannah Sparrow. Don't you love it?