The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED NINETY: WORLD BUILDER
Dedicated to Red, the bird…
My very first real friend.
“This tremendous world I have inside of me. How to free myself, and this world, without tearing myself to pieces. And rather tear myself to a thousand pieces than be buried with this world within me.”
“The muse in charge of fantasy wears good, sensible shoes.”
We start out building worlds.
It’s usually limited to your room and your toys, and your imagination.
And the stories you tell are limited to what you see in your immediate family. You mirror what you see them doing.
Then you are exposed to more of the outside world with TV, movies, books, and – if you’re lucky – friends. The world you build when you alone go outside the boundary of what you once knew. The limits expand.
And, of course, the more you are exposed to, the larger your world gets. And with that comes all things. It’s not just lovely and sweet. You see the world as it is, no matter how much your parents or guardians try to keep you from it. You learn about the pain, hate, and death.
Those things come into your world with claws that scratch and teeth that draw blood.
It has been that way since the dawn of creation.
From these things, the good and the bad, we must learn how to embrace somethings while we push away others. And, most of the time, it’s at the same time.
I remember when I was a kid playing in my room alone. I loved my stuffed animals. They were my friends. We would turn an empty cardboard box into a ship on the ocean, and we were adrift (I’m not sure where I got this particular scenario, but there you go). One of my stuffed animals would fall ‘overboard,’ and the rest of us would have to save him/her. They always got back on the boat, and we would continue to drift until it was time to eat, or I got bored with the whole thing, and we would climb onto the top bunk of my bunk beds, and then we would be stuck on some cliff face facing a million-foot drop.
But they were innocent, and no one died. We were all safe and sound (unless you count the time I fell off the top bunk, nearly landing on my head).
As I got older and more exposed to the ‘outside’ world, my playtime changed along with the toys I played with. The stuffed animals stayed on the bed as extra pillows while I played with G.I. Joe’s. Now, guns and action figures were getting shot or falling (like I did from the bunk bed) from some great height, just barely staying alive.
And it wasn’t just action figures. I would play on my own and pretend to be somebody from a movie I saw and get shot or injured somehow and go through all of the motions of fake dying. When I had friends to play with, I played war. We shot at each other with toy machine guns and fake fighting.
Then puberty hit, and a lot of that went right out the window.
We won’t go into all that, but I’m sure you understand.
Why do you understand?
It’s because you went through the very same thing.
The particulars may be different, but I bet a lot of what I said struck a bell inside your head.
We start pretty innocent of we had a pretty good childhood with no horrible dramas to deal with. We started with stuffed animals or dolls or little toy cars, and it was simple playtime. No one got hurt, and all of our imaginary friends were nice.
Then the real world starts to get in, and we mirror what we see and feel. Ken and Barbie break up or gets divorced, Lady Jaye thinks Flint is a Cobra spy and shoots him, our imaginary friends start to fade away, and then, the next thing you know, they’re gone.
We build our worlds with the best intentions, but time takes a toll, bricks in the wall chip, and the foundations crack.
And that’s how it goes.
We’re growing up and learning about how the world works.
Then you are given a decision. It may not be asked outright. It may not come to you in a dream. But one way or another, whether it floats up to you from the abyss or it gets asked way down deep in your conscience that you have to relocation of ever thinking of it.
Is this the world I want to build?
From that moment, you either start repairing your world, give the foundation maintenance, and fix the things you broke so the structures to come can be laid on a level, firm ground.
Or you decide just to let it go and let your world continue to crumble and leave it to time to bring it down.
No matter how hard it is (and some days are tough) to keep your world in good shape, it’s worth it.
It doesn’t matter if you get help or not. It’s worth it.
Even if you are doing your conversion of Toby McGuire’s version of Spider-Man and you are using all of your webs from keeping the people-loaded subway train from crashing off of the broken tracks. IT’S WORTH IT!!!
The world you build is essential. From your first stuffed animals to the moment you close your eyes for the last time in this world. Your world is important.
Just make room for those you care about and care about you.
Your world might have all the cool stuff, but you need people to love and people who love you.
So, fix up your world, allow people to visit. For those select few, find them a house and let them live there. Maybe something with a big yard.
And keep the negatives to a minimum.
Maybe think about the first time you looked at your first stuffed animal when things were still innocent and stressless.
Remember when you looked at it in the eyes and said… HI!
-Loyd Elmore Jr
January 1st, 2021
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.