Monthly Archives: June 2008

Humbled by Imagination

Last night, I gave my son a scientifically correct but creatively void response. I thought I would make amends so here was the conversation at bedtime:

Pilgrim Mom: Remember last night you asked me about whether you could climb rainbows?
Porthos: Yes.
PM: Mummy said no, right?
P: Yes.
PM: That’s correct. But what do you think if we COULD climb rainbows?

And almost as if to prove the point of my previous post, that set off a discussion of such vivid proportions that I could only sit back and marvel at the creative potential children are blessed with.

Porthos: FUN!
PM: Why?
P: Because we can play with them.
PM: Really? What would you do with a rainbow?
P: I want to take the different colours and make different things.
PM: Like what?
P: I want to make the blue colour into a ring.
Athos: Maybe we can even mix the colours up.
P: And maybe we can even eat the rainbow as we climb!
PM: That’s so cool! What does a rainbow taste like?
P: Well the purple part tastes like grapes and the blue part tastes like blueberries.
A: And the yellow part is noodles!
P: No, bananas!
A: No, noodles!

They went on to agree that the red tasted like apples, the orange like (surprise, surprise) oranges, and the green like pears – because they didn’t like the spinach/broccoli idea very much.

I tried my slide idea on them, but Athos thought that wouldn’t be a lot of fun because you’d have to climb up all over again (the practical-minded one that he is). And then Porthos dropped the clincher:

P: You know Mummy, last week I dreamt that I played on a rainbow.
PM: Is that why you asked me about climbing a rainbow?
P: Yes.

Keep dreaming, Porthos.

How to Read Classic Literature At the Office

My friend PS over at Escapades is not only a superb running shoe consultant, she also unearths some of the most fabulous Internet gems.

Like this one, that gives you the perfect cover for stealth consumption of literary classics at the office. As a lover of literature, I thought this was one of the cleverest things I’ve seen on the web in a long while!

“Is it possible to climb a rainbow?”

Recently, Pilgrim Dad and I have been fairly diligent about getting the boys outdoors a few times each week. Today, we decided to go to East Coast Park to kick a ball around and have satay for dinner.

And it was while we were playing poison ball on the beach that Pilgrim Dad caught sight of a rainbow. It was just barely visible, weaving its arc in and out through the clouds down towards the ships berthed at sea. All of us were enthralled.

As I was putting the boys to bed, Porthos asked, “Is it possible to climb a rainbow?” And in a moment of sheer left-brain domination, I replied “No. Rainbows are made of light.”

He seemed disappointed.

And thinking about it later, I realised I had got it all wrong. Here is what I WISH I had said.

I’ve never been near enough to a rainbow to know for sure.
But maybe, just maybe, you can.
And maybe when you reach the very top, you can whoosh down just like you would on a slippery slide
And land, bouncing, on a soft pillowy cloud below
And then maybe you could play hide-and-seek behind the red or the blue or the yellow or the green
(which colour would you pick? Me? Definitely indigo.)
And maybe even weave them together into a braid
And maybe every colour is hollow, sending honey, or orange juice, or (your favourite) ketchup down to sailors who miss home
And who knows, maybe as you climb up, you might find an angel or two waiting for you
For angels rush in, where fools know not to tread.

JK Rowling: “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

After receiving this in my inbox for, like, the fourth time, I thought I would finally read it (yes it can take a few tries to get through to me, even with many compelling reasons for me to have read it the first time….)

JK Rowling spoke at this year’s Harvard commencement proceedings. An out-of-box choice given that previous commencement speakers include political and business heavyweights like Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Bill Gates.

She does not disappoint though, in her speech titled “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination”