October 22, 2016 | by karen.current

It’s going to be a place where only the things you want to happen, would happen.

photo courtesy of 1000 Awesome Things.com
photo courtesy of 1000 Awesome Things.com

When I was little, we used to build forts. They usually consisted of a few couch cushions, (the couch), some strategically balanced pillows and blankets that never quite covered the whole thing.  Outside, the skirt of an unusually large evergreen would open up into the perfect hideout, where I know my cousin and I spent several feral weeks as kids. I vaguely remember sweeping the pine cones out so the dirt floor would be…clean? I’ve tried to remember exactly what the scenarios were that kept us so captivated, but all I recall for sure is the feeling of being on an adventure but also safe.

I saw the movie Where the Wild Things Are this weekend. It was a little strange and uncomfortable. I’m sure they were going for that. They didn’t use fantastical CGI landscapes – it was found scenery in Australia.  It was imperfect.   There were forts. It made the argument for using what you have around to you to create your own world, starting with sticks and flowers and dirt piles. Most important were the people (monsters, in this case) who say, “Ok, I’ll play with you!” How often do designers have to start there? A) Believe you can make it happen. B) Get people on your team. C) Get to work.  That’s literally my whole job as an adult.

It reinforces the power of imagination. The boys and girls who push hot wheels around dirt piles end up as the architects of our experiences in the world, making that leap between what could be and what is. We’re their playmates, saying “Yes! We could totally do that!” and it only happens because we believe infiller the power of an idea and the  thrill of influencing our world, hopefully for the better. I think that’s how this movie got made.  I’m sure that’s how the theater I saw it in was built.

Let things be imperfect and wild and help each other fill in the rest.


4 responses to “Making Believe”

  1. I loved building forts! The worst part was when your parents finally made you take down that wonderfully crafted personal secret hideway!

  2. Reminds me so much of building a fort from branches, sticks and grasses down in the gulley across the street from my house, when my cousin and I decided to run away from home. It was a beautiful fort on a hillside, exposed to the warm sun. I believe we lasted until 4:00 in the afternoon when we got hungry and headed for home. To our dismay, we weren’t even missed. Memories of that day and the sweet smell of the earth and the grass bolstered my love of dirt and the land and helped cultivate my dream of a back yard sanctuary. I’m still working on my dream, every year…every summer.

  3. I lived behind a furniture, appliance and ski store for a while there trash was an endless source of materials for forts!

  4. I built beautifully designed homes in my nine year old world by using the shapes of the
    bushes for rooms and the trees for rooftops. I still need more than blank spaces to
    stimulate ideas.

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