Blue skies….smiling at me….. nothing but blue skies….do I see…..
I love that song and nobody sings it better than Willie, which really has nothing to do with this post other than the fact that this post is supposed to be about Blue Skying. I had never heard that term before it was thrown at us for our Living Out Loud post this month. Apparently blue skying is a term used as a verb meaning that you are brainstorming and that the sky’s the limit. You just throw ideas out there and bounce them off others. It all sounds good to me except I’m not very creative when it comes to stuff like that.
I was always the one who as a child came up with outlandish stories and ideas. I (barely) remember when I was much much younger, maybe 4 or 5 or 6, I used to go to our next door neighbor’s house, the Browns and I always held court with Mr. Brown. He was an elderly gentleman and he always seemed to find time for me. When you are one of so many kids you relish any time you get individualized adult attention. I remember sitting on his lap and telling him outlandish tales of my dad fighting grizzly bears and tigers and such in the woods behind our house. Never mind that those animals didn’t really exist in our neck of the woods. I had heard of them and I was sure someone as big and strong as my daddy could just whup their hide! I mean there was NO ONE in the world stronger than my daddy!!
My mother often would tell me that Mr. Brown would tell her that he just knew I was going to grow up to be an actress or writer or something because I had such a vivid imagination. Sorry to disappoint him but that wild imagination is pretty much gone. I’m not sure if it was the years and years of having my wild ideas ridiculed and squelched or if I just quit dreaming. I wish I still had it.
As I grew older my avid reading somewhat fueled my imagination. I was enthralled with writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and Kurt Vonnegut. They were two of my favorites as a teen. And throw in my newly found fascination with the wacky weed (as a teen) and my imagination kicked in again for a brief period. I remember as teenagers my best friend Sam and I would go for hours long walks in the woods that surrounded my house.
There were several soapstone quarries within walking distance and the one closest to our house became our own little “hobbit” land. We would imagine for hours on end how the little nooks and crannies in the huge boulders of soapstone and lime were actually hobbit holes. We were convinced that the land abounded with hobbits and elves and gnomes and we just couldn’t see them. I could just imagine Gollum crawling out of one of those quarries all covered in slimy green algae crying out as he searched for his “Precious”! We were sure they watched us as we snuck my dad’s cigarettes and beer and sat for hours and hours supposing what we’d do if we ever caught one. How famous we’d be because we discovered the real life abode of Bilbo Baggins.
We imagined how we would be their only big people friends and they would allow us into their lives and homes (if we could figure a way to fit!). Never mind that those places were made up. We created them for real. We just knew that those little people were there. We knew they watched us as surely as we searched for them. I’m sure all that pot smoking fueled that “creativity” and then killed it along with several thousand brain cells. Of course back then, we were invincible.
After we had driver’s licenses (actually only Sam, I didn’t get mine until later) we would drive around for hours on end exploring new roads and enjoying our new found freedom. We’d imagine hitting the open road and would talk for hours and hours about how when we got older and were married to whomever our current boyfriend of the moment was that we’d sit out on our rockers on our front porches and our kids would be best friends just like we were. Sadly that never came to pass since she passed away before she ever got to enjoy parenthood, but for those times we just knew that was how our life was going to turn out. We’d have money and kids and love galore.
As I got older, the occupation I chose (book keeping and accounting) didn’t allow for a whole lot of blue skying although I did have a few clients who could blue sky with the best of them when it came to what they considered business deductions. Like the client that wanted me to write off his horseback riding lessons as a business deduction. He was a plumber. I told him unless he with riding up to a job site with PVC pipes strapped across that horse’s backside that I really didn’t think the IRS would go for that.
When my kids were little and I had a home day care for a few years I did get to enjoy their blue skying. All three of my girls had active imaginations and the story telling continued with them and abounded. They were prolific readers and writers. The sky was the limit for the tales they would tell.
I feel now as though my blue sky days have been brought to a staggering halt. My imagination which was once boundless seems to be hemmed in. I seem to have forgotten how to imagine. My creativity seems stifled. Sure I can tell my stories of what happened but the stories that used to once be in my head of what could happen seem to have dried up and I miss that. I miss the world of supposition and what ifs. I miss the fact that I could come up with things off the top of my head that made no sense to anyone else but me. Who knows? Maybe one day my skies will be blue again.