Today, my daughter asked if she could go in the garage and talk to her bike. I told her that she needs no permission from me to talk to her bike, that it’s her fundamental imaginal right to talk to her bike, so hurry up, and please never stop.
My chest caught halfway through an inhalation. Please never stop.
I just told a woman last week that I had a seven-year-old daughter and she said “Oh I LOVE seven! Don’t you love seven?” and I said “No, actually, I hate seven. Seven is the worst thing that could ever happen to a child. Watching the dominance of my son’s imagination take a backseat to the horrors of our soulless dwelling in the house of ‘Realism’—reason and science—was the hardest event of my parenting career, by far, and believe me I’ve seen a lot of shit and puke. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I lose my daughter. I’ll feel so, so alone.” The woman was sorry she asked and required elaboration.
“I just mean that she talks to things.” I explained. “Has imaginary friends. She’s immersed in a world that lives and breathes and I’ll be sorry to see it die. I’ll miss it. I’ll miss her relationship to it.”
My favorite post that I ever wrote was about this purple cup.
When you live alone, it’s easier to form relationships with things that entail conversations. I talk to my bed when I’m making it, grateful for its service. I address my dishes, washing them in the sink; they bear so much, true companions. If you think these things are dead, part of you is dead. In the imagination, everything has soul. All you have to do is take the risk—leap—talk to your laundry, and listen. Does it respond? Is it just your imagination? Indeed. Where is “your” imagination. In your head? What if that was the big mistake? If, rather than our imaginations being inside our own heads, we existed inside Imagination, ourselves merely figments of some big Dreamer.
Can you imagine?
All of us merely figments of one big Imagination. Talk to your silverware. Talk to your dead friends. And listen. How much are you willing to risk? How much attention can you afford? Because, in your attention, everything lives. Spend it all. Spend it all. Pay attention!
I put my ear to the door but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Not the content. But just the outlines of their muttery form. My daughter— she talked and talked, paused, gathering a response, and continued. And I thought Please never stop. Believe in Santa. Believe in the power of your cotton stuffed bunny. Believe in all the voices that constantly speak to you. They never stop. They don’t. We just learn to ignore them. Little girl: Keep in touch with your bike.