Why don’t people “pretend” once they become adults? I know why we shouldn’t live in self-deception, where we convince ourselves of untrue things. And I know how dangerous it can be to waste our lives wishing for things we don’t have. But, remember when we were kids and we’d pretend we were cowboys or pioneers on a long trail? We’d stay there all day. We’d face surprise attacks, droughts, swamps, rattlers. We’d carry one another through, revive ourselves with secret medicines. The next day, we’d be a traveling circus. An emergency room in a busy hospital facing some major epidemic!
I let myself pretend this morning. Intentionally, I just pretended how life was, where I was, who was around me. And while I was still me, and I was still writing, the smile on my face grew and the space inside my mind seemed to swell within seconds. It wasn’t in order to force myself to create. It was just for the sake of pretending; for the sake of fun. Maybe it had something to do with scheming about what I’ll do with Fin when she gets here – what I’ll play with “my littlest best friend.” I’m not sure.
But why is it we stop pretending? And does it have to take the approaching visit of a small child to make us remember how? Why is it adults forget how to play – why do we become increasingly focused on the stuff around us? Imagination becomes a tool, a skill used for work and production, rather than a gift to enjoy. I'm not sure that's wrong, I'm just sure it's not what I prefer. I, for one, like to play.