Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Meaning of Make Believe

Make Believe!
these two words
have outlined my life...
as a child in Crayolas,
as an adult in markers!

Make Believe?
Is it a childhood term only or...?
What would it mean as an adult,
how would it be defined, lived,
acted out at mid age...?
How do we pretend?
well I am sure there are all sorts of ways
but I am not referring to the kind
that requires us to live off the grid...
or deceptively...
just silly and simple acts
of believing in the impossible,
the imaginative!

Didn't plan on researching this
but in retrospect
my past week was exactly
a game in make believe.

My leadership development class
met for the second time for
the dreaded and scheduled
public speaking session.
Oh, so very yuck!

And I didn't sleep at all
the night before.

When speech number one, didn't go well.
due to the uncontrollable shaking
which shows up in voice and hands!
This happen to everyone ...right?

A professional guest speaker
gave us some amazing tips, like using props,
colored markers to section our notes,
halved paper for less nervous rattling,
eye contact, eye contact, eye contact...
tho I would use most of the tips successfully
I knew eye contact
wasn't going to be one of them,
no matter how hard I tried.

"Speak on a childhood memory,
you have twenty minutes to prepare,
and two minutes to speak."

I wasn't the first to volunteer nor was I the last
(...John was.)
With colored notes in one hand
and an orange Trick or Treat bucket
which I eventually placed on my head, I began:

"We all have our favorite childhood age,
when we share of a memory...
but for some reason
I am always ten in mine,
I am sure I had to be other ages tho,
Anyways, I had a great imagination
and although,
I grew up in Duluth Minnesota,
I thought it was Africa.
South Africa to be exact,
and I knew everything about it,
where the different animals lived,
the names of all the countries
and their capitals...why?
Because I also believed I was...black!

One spring I found
a leopard skin piece of fabric
in a thawing ditch.
Brushing it off
I swung it across my shoulders.
And it became a magical vest,
a warrior's vest
and I wore it everywhere.

My mom,
my very Scandinavian
and fashion conscious mom,
was dismayed!
Not only did she have a daughter
who was a tomboy and running around town
with pretend leopard skin vest on,
while chasing imaginary wild animals...
her daughter also believed... she was black!

Never really grew out of this.
I loved to make something simple
into something magical
and let it take me places!

When I was ten,
we had this old shelled out
wash machine in a back yard field.
This scrapped piece of metal
became my fantasy transport
as a covered wagon,
a dog sled attached to a toboggan
and one time a rocket ship.

My girlfriend and I decided
to send my brother and his friend
to the moon in it.
We tied a rope around it,
stuffed them inside
with a football helmet on and probably
a bucket like the one I am wearing now."

Its here I realize there is too much of an echo
inside the bucket and
and although my eye contact problem is solved
cause it hangs low hiding them..
I try to remove it but
the handle is caught on my chin
and I can't get it off!
So I leave it on!
Hmmm? Not really the original plan!

" Anyways, my brother and his friend
are beyond excited with promises to bring
back some milky ways
and say hi to the man in the moon for us.
We hoist and hoist...
being evidently really strong little girls
until they get to the crook in the tree,
the end of the rope and
in a silent stillness...they swing back and forth
with blank sad faces.
Looks of great disappointment times four.

To this day I am still not sure
IF I really believed we could get them
to the moon?
That anything was possible.
Cause when you are ten...anything IS possible.
So I wonder, what might I do if I still thought
like a ten yeard old?
What might I be able to do?
What might we all be able to do?"

End of speech..thank goodness
and the bucket was removed...with help!

It turned into a week of make believe.
Starting with pretending
to still be a competive athlete
and dreaming about wanting
and winning medals.
Not Olympic ones but... hey?
(See previous blog)
Of pretending to be able to dance
and sort of really dancing...
(and liking it,)
of being a zombie and a pirate and getting
to return to my "Farrah hair" of the seventies.
And I pretended to be an activist for a park
even carried a protest sign!
And of course had a make believe moment
of being a comedianne
with a bucket helmet and an audience!

When I talk about always being ten,
and wouldn't live any other way!

Have you been ten yet today?

Pam Piper Rain