Certain songs come to me, usually when I need them. Ditto dreams. They often can fill in the detail that I am missing, albeit names, locations, people. And no, I am not about to be sectioned. They help me tell a story – when I was younger I didn’t always listen to the words or pictures as I didn’t want to hear them. But I always had a great imagination, which was noted by my junior school teachers and the prizes I was duly awarded for creative writing.
Today, aged 44 and a half, I am much more open to my inner voice. These same images and songs have told me many things: from partner infidelity to family death and future relationships. And whilst you yourself might not believe this to be true and raise your eyes to the sky shaking your head, I can only share my own experience. We can and do create our own magic. It has to start in our head.
The song on replay this week in my head is ‘Magic’ by America from way back in 1982. I didn’t even know I knew the song (if you see what I mean). The lyrics tell us that ‘you can have anything that you desire’…and I believe this, within reason and without negative fallout. But living amidst the backdrop of a fairly cynical and linear ‘grown-up’ world, at what point in our lives and why do we all too often let go of the magic, or allow it to become sinister or secretive?
I love talking to little kids. They not only tell you ‘how it is’ but they have a wonderful gift for dreaming, creating stories and fantasy worlds that somehow tend to become grey (more of ‘Grey’ later on) and distant as we age. Children paint pictures of princesses and superheroes and live in the indulgent and decadent world of their imagination. We, the adults, encourage them yet let the day-to-day too often spoil our own ability to reach out to our inner craving for fantasy. And this, by default, has a knock-on effect.
A great imagination is the gift that helped JK Rowling create the ‘Harry Potter’ series, the unilaterally adored works that brought imagination back to adulthood. Adults were able to indulge their inner child perhaps because all the other adults were doing the same and it was ‘acceptable’. And although I disagree with a recent article claiming that Harry Potter told the story of a mental asylum (although who knows) I am proud to say I still believe in ‘magic’ and ‘dreaming big’. My imagination is still ripe and if I (and others) can’t dream or believe in something more, we have nothing to aspire to.
A lot of adults are embarrassed to dream and would rather deny themselves mental freedom but why? Perhaps fantasy is seen as something bad, particularly within certain cultures and where the word has certain negative connotations. Certainly within relationships, unless partners both have the same level of openness, fantasy can be seen as something taboo or off-limits. And thus the mind starts to wander elsewhere thus creating secrecy, distance and possibly more. Fantasy (in the general sense of the word) in daily living should be encouraged. It allows inventors to invent, artists to paint, musicians to write genius scores and us mere mortals to weep at the end result. The tears may well be our magic soul crying out for more. But at least the soul is feeling something…
Many will say that guys are driven by what is in their trousers. When we talk about fantasy, I truly believe that whilst men of course love looking at a beautiful woman (or man of, course), if a lady (or fellow man) can’t titillate a man’s mind and keep his inner Action Man or Gloria Gaynor satisfied, he may not stick around emotionally. It isn’t rocket science. Men love to fantasise about all sorts of things – I am not generalising, I actually can concur only based on my own first-hand experience, for better and worse. The sex industry thrives on fantasy but it is often seen as ‘naughty’ and private or secret and this can be dangerous. If men and women allowed more fantasy into real time, I am sure that it could help save some relationships.
And this brings me to the ladies…’50 Shades’, in my humble view, was truly awful. So hats off to the author for creating such a worldwide success. What it does prove though is that women also want fantasy in their worlds and men or fellow women are not bothering enough. Women still want a man to be a man (in the context of Mr Grey). I can’t tell you the number of women I know who errr, shall we say, were ‘stimulated’ by this book. For me personally, I would have been more turned on looking at a courgette in the market although I 100% want and need a man to be a man. I get the theme, just not the book. Nine and a half weeks was 100 times better and by the looks of the casting choices, Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke were eight squillion times better looking!!!
The bottom line here is that we all need magic in our lives, both as children and adults, however it is manifested: both for different reasons and purposes. For children, magic helps create curiosity, develop play and interaction skills and a progression of self. For adults, it helps balance what can often be challenging and tiring daily routines as well as belief in self and success in business or relationships. And, as with anything in life, there is the domino effect…magic creates magic, which creates positive energy: we know this from the film ‘Stardust’, a wonderful piece of work derived from the spectacular imagination of Jonathan Ross’s wife. And I am sure ‘a great imagination’ rolls over into other areas of Jane Goldman’s life (nudge, nudge, Rossy) – not a bad thing when your husband is Jonathan Ross.
Dreams and magic help us go to our grave not saying ‘I wish…’. And I can’t see Richard Branson saying that any time soon. Dream big, my friends. Let America’s ‘You can do magic…you can have anything that you desire’ be your mantra. I am sure America, the country, would also concur. Now where is that courgette (wink)…