8.01.2011

Why whimsy matters...

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living,  It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.”  ~ Dr. Seuss

            When I was thirteen, my mother died unexpectedly from a rare disease.  She did not know she was sick.  We did not know she was sick.  In a moment much can change and life fills with serious business.  However, I vividly remember standing with my family in the funeral parlor during the visitation.  It was a long day and we were all tired.  Someone recalled an odd memory and we began to laugh.  This in part is why whimsy matters: it can bring laughter into a funeral.  And life is full of funerals.  Whimsy breathes life and playfulness into a world of suffering and hardship.  Too often we take life so seriously as adults that we forget how to play.  Whimsy changes that. 
            As a homeschooling father, I spend the majority of my days with my two children.  They have in turn taught me how to play.  I think I had forgotten.  It is from my experiences with them that my line drawings and poems emerge.  To a child, every day is an adventure.  There is no time.  There are no calendars.  There tends to be what us adults might name nonsense—and it’s good for us.
            Whimsy makes fun and delights.  It reminds us that in our most serious moments we can play.  It has been said that, “beauty will save the world.”  I think it could just as easily be said that play will save the world.  Life seems to be a big playground after all—wars on the jungle gym are a microcosm of wars in a jungle; we all need to learn how to play together.
            So, my invitation is to the fanciful and odd.  I hope that my pictures will make you smile and that in the seriousness of being an adult you might find yourself skipping to work—another something my children have taught me to do.  If you have your own whimsy to share please come and add it at our Web of Whimsy page or on Flickr or like us on facebook.

In the meantime, I thought I would introduce you to Mr. Catawampus.  I have illustrated him with a one continuous line drawing.  I hope you will buy one of his balloons…

Mr. Catawampus, The Magical Balloon Man

Mr. Catawampus, tender yet odd,
On Tuesdays at noon can be found on the quad

There with his helium, he’ll always be
Peddling balloons ‘til quarter past three

Save up your nickels, save up your dimes
Next Tuesday stop by, you must find the time

See, something about these balloons I am told
Cause time to stand still so you never grow old

Catawampus will hand you the magic balloon
Which he makes himself out of dust from the moon

And as we all know, moon dust is quit rare
So such a balloon should be handled with care

He includes the instructions and polishing cloth
Whispers, “adventure,” and sends you on off

Then balloon in hand you finally will see
How delightfully odd Catawampus can be


If you would like to see more of my whimsy: visit my on-line art gallery
or check out some of my other illustrated poetry

6 comments:

MsBittyKnacks said...

Love it! I also agree that we take life way too seriously and forget to be fun! Keep spreading the whimsyness!

mariska eyck said...

thank you! I can use these words right now ansd will remember them.
Mariska

Dan Taylor said...

i fully agree! plus whimsy itself is such a good word. i will add whimsy by using whimsy which will remind me to seek whimsy! Thanks!

Judie said...

I came across your Web of Whimsy blog and added one of my pieces to Whimsical Wednesday. Please go to my blog and check it out.

Your poetry and line drawings are wonderful!!!

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Death does have a way of 'teaching' us how to live ~ eh? namaste, Carol ^_^

Teri C said...

A fascinating way to look at life. Makes the 6 year old in me happy. Now if I can get her to take her crayons out and color.....