Tuesday, July 31, 2012
My Imaginary Friends
I never had an imaginary friend. But I always liked the idea of one.
I guess I never felt the need for one because I had my sister. Only 11 months apart, we were usually within 2 inches of each other at every moment until we were about 10 years old. According to Wikipedia, imaginary friends are thought to be beneficial to children because they "provide comfort in times of stress, companionship when they're lonely, someone to boss around when they feel powerless, and someone to blame for the broken lamp in the living room. Most important, an imaginary companion is a tool young children use to help them make sense of the adult world." Yep.. all things provided by my sister.
An interesting article on Seattlepi.com talks about how adults still manage to have psuedo-imaginary friends through journals and fictional writing. When we journal or write in a diary, we often write to an imagined audience, another dimension of ourselves. Fiction writers often create relationships with characters as they hash out conversations and plots.
I wonder too if we painters and doodlers and stitchers and mixed media mashers aren't having some serious conversations with our imaginary friends. I certainly talk to myself enough when I am creating.
And after several days of working on an image, it does take on a personality and I start to feel connected to it. Like those childhood imaginary friends, art does "provide comfort in times of stress." In many ways it also provides a sense of companionship when I am lonely. And it does help me make sense of the world.
I guess I cannot really blame a piece of artwork for breaking the lamp in the living room, but I sure have blamed it for failing to make dinner or finish the laundry. Maybe I do have imaginary friends after all.