When I was a little girl, I wanted an imaginary friend. A lot of kids had them–even my older sister. So I figured it would be easy to make one up. But it wasn’t. How can a friend surprise you–how can he make you laugh because of some unexpected crazy thing he said or did–when, after all, he was just coming out of your own head? I tried and tried, but I couldn’t create a playmate that was real. And so, at seven years of age I gave up. Already I felt like an old woman–friendless, forlorn.
But somewhere between that crushing disappointment and the forty years that followed, I grew young again. Now all kinds of imaginary friends are popping up to surprise me in my writing, and clouds are turning into castles and whole kingdoms through my camera lens. Maybe throughout all these years I have been learning, like the Velveteen Rabbit, to understand what is real.
Does time ever stand still? I can’t answer that. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t always move forward.