Sometimes, on Twitter, when I express a view others disagree with, I get challenged with:
“What would you know about it? You read and write fiction. Go back to the world of make-believe.”
I know it’s supposed to demean me and undermine my credibility but I’m proud to be a citizen of the world of make-believe.
It’s where I grew up; where I learned about good and evil and hope and fear and joy and sorrow. It’s where I decided who to try and become and who I never wanted to be.
My time in the world of make-believe is what keeps me able to see the real world clearly and understand my part in it.
The world of make-believe is where I go when I need a new solution to an old problem or when I want to wash off all the taints of life as it must be lived and restore myself so I can try an live life as it should be lived.
Today I read a poem by Brian Patten that I hadn’t seen before and was not at all surprised to find that he also is a child of the world of make-believe.
In the poem below, he explains the power it offers children. When I was a child, my imagination was fed with stories that told me that things were seldom what they seemed; that solving problems meant changing the question and that my decisions were the only things I could control.
Nothing much has changed. It’s just gotten more complicated.
Anyway, I offer this poem up to all my fellow citizens of the world of make-believe. If you’ve never visited or if you emigrated long ago please remember our borders are open and immigrants are always welcome.