Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Real World

Monday morning. 8 am. The family is still in bed. I sit at the window and watch the snow fall. I imagine each snowflake- its life. Falling in clumps together with its fellow snowflakes landing in soft fluffy bolls on top of beautiful tree branches, lacing the webbed bushes like tattered bits of cloth, on the fence, and on last summer’s old grass, on the cement walk and on the outdoor toys.

I imagine what it must be like to float down from the sky. The cold air, the white world being created by all the snowflakes together falling in harmony, landing layer upon layer, like humans unto the earth.

I recall a conversation I had with an acquaintance about kids not having time to lounge about in their pyjamas. “But your kids get to do that don’t they? Still. What happens when they have to get up for jobs and things?”

The solid wall of the ‘Real World’ comes up again.

Outside the window, high in the moody sky, grey gulls coast in the wind snow falling around them. I am these gulls all three. I know what it’s like to be in that world.

There are many worlds and none is more real then the other.

Perhaps that homeless man whom we pitied, sitting on a bench out in the cold, bundle buggy holding all his worldly possessions tied up in it; perhaps he has a world to tell us about. His ‘real’ world. Perhaps it is a grim hard sad world filled with people who avoid him or scorn him. But perhaps it is a world of surprises too. Perhaps something real happens to him everyday. Something that makes him genuinely happy or something that makes him feel lucky to be himself.

People say ‘kids must go to school in order to be prepared for the real world.’

I say, we are discovering new worlds everyday. I say we are creating new worlds. People created the so called ‘real world,’ people can invent new ones, different ones.

As to functioning in the regular one, the common one that is only common because people have willed it so; I know that when unschooled children have to get up early for something they have to get to, they do.

Furthermore, the real world that we have accepted as 'boring' and 'difficult' and 'predictable' need not be. Picasso slept all day and painted all night. Braque slept all night and painted all day. They had one bed between them. But what a life they lived!

As Picasso said, “If you know exactly what you are going to do, what’s the good of doing it?” I’m thinking about the element of surprise, of intrigue that I for one can’t live without.

The human creature is a creature of immeasurable adaptability. The human learns. There is nothing to fear because a child sleeps in while his peers shrivel with boredom in school.

I leave you with the question ‘what is real?’

“If there was a single truth, you couldn’t make a hundred paintings of the same subject.” PIcasso

by BEE

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