The Dreamers of Dreams

roalddalhquote1

I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of anyone sharing random memes because they’re often thrust online with little thought as to why they want to share that message, other than jumping on a social media junkie trend train to show how clued up/smart/linked in/connected/down with the shizzle they are. Choo fucking choo.

Today I’m not one of those vacuous zombies.

I’m going to share something personal with you, dear blog reader. Yeah, like I’ve never done that before!

This is somewhat different because it relates directly to a big (perhaps the main) reason why I love to write.

Yesterday was Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday. I missed it. Soz. Hey, I don’t keep records of dead writers in my diary for the chance I might spot a milestone like the big one oh oh and throw out some insincere messages like other sheeple.

Besides, the guy’s dead.

Alive, his stories very much are.

The Giant Peach

I won’t bore you with a gigantic post today.

I was tempted to keep this short and sweet. But no. I’ve got my happy on today so ner ner na ner ner.

Just read it and be all warm and fuzzy and inspired and shit.

When I was about 7 or 8 I read Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. I read a load more after that too, but it was that first book that grabbed my attention. Big time.

jamesandthegiantpeachcover

This was back in the olden days before movies and cover redesigns were en vogue to capture the attention of children who’ve just seen the movie and now want to relive the story, albeit without the 3D visuals, rumbling surround sound, or their giggling mates. And minus munching popcorn in the dark or sucking sugary death from a novelty themed toy Coca Cola cup.

I guess you could curl up all quiet and comfy in bed with the book version, night-light, a bag of Butterkist and your cinema trophy filled with Robinsons.

Not quite the same, is it?

Nope.

Sigh.

THAT’S WAY BETTER!!

Movies are cool and have their place, but I like love books!

And popcorn.

Munchkin Land.

I read the adventures of James and his pals when I was very young. Everything about it screamed at me in a way I’d not experienced before, and if I’m honest not since either.

It was like that scene in Wizard of Oz where Dorothy opens the door onto a world drenched in colour.

wizard-of-oz-4

Either she’d never seen colour before, or the director wanted the audience to be wowed by the transition.Doesn’t matter which. We share Dorothy’s sense of seeing the world the right way or like lifting a dark and grubby veil so she could stare in wonder at how much colour and magic the world has in it.

Doesn’t matter which. We share Dorothy’s sense of seeing the world the right way or like lifting a dark and grubby veil to take in the magic and wonder of a colour soaked world.

James and the Giant Peach had that effect on me.

I lived inside that book.

I was there right next to James at every twist, every turn, every shocking revelation.

It was as if that book had been written to slot perfectly into my personality and how I saw the world. I got the humour, the quirky characters, the sudden changes in life that without warning can knock you off one path and onto another.

Roald Dahl had slipped into a hidden layer behind my life to direct it for a moment to give me a Dorothy/Oz moment when I opened that book.

I didn’t only see words on the pages. My imagination lifted them into the world and like Dorothy’s door, the pages of that book spewed out characters, scenes, emotional highs and lows.

james-and-the-giant-peach-book-sculpture-detail

Quick side-note on the above picture. Fabulous isn’t it? It’s by an artist Kelly Cambell Berry. Find her on Etsy.

A lot of my primary school friends (even some in high school and beyond) declared they never read books. I found that strange like there was something wrong with them. I didn’t understand how anyone could not read a book. To some degree, I still don’t.

Weirdo’s right?

If not for that one moment…

I believe if that book and I hadn’t come together at the right time, the right place, the right mood, setting and so on, then I would have spent a life reaching for an itch I couldn’t scratch. Maybe I would have written a little, but somehow I suspect without the same level of passion.

On the other hand, if you believe in fate you could argue I would still have written and enjoyed doing so because it’s in my heart.

That is, if you believe in fate.

Which I don’t.

But still, that book had a lot to do with my one true passion:

Dog Water Skiing Photography!

JAN 20th 2012.........pics of .. with this cold spell the 54th annual Toronto International Boat Show is wrapping up this weekend but not before saving the best for last..People can get to laugh and wonder about Duma,the incredible waterskiing and boat driving dog...Duma a famous water loving Jack Russell terrier is back to thrill the audiences with his skills on the lake...zdumas promoter Cliff Bode put him through his practise today...Duma performs all weekend....(COLIN MCCONNELL STAR) ..

Hehe.

I found this photo months ago and have been dying to use it. How cool is that dog!

Dave, the Dreamers of Dreams? Blog title?

Ah yes. Facebook told me yesterday that Roald Dahl would have been 100 years ancient. I checked out some quirky quotes and memes and junk. And I found one quote snagged on a memory strand.

dreammaker

That one stood out and it took a while to figure out where I’d heard it before.

Gene. You will always be the best Willy Wonka.

When I Googled the quote I was surprised to learn it wasn’t a Willy Wonka/Roald Dahl line but from Arthur O’Shaughnessy, a British poet who in 1874 wrote a poem called Ode, made famous by its first line: “We are the music makers.”

I’d never read the poem before and found it quite beautiful.

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties,
we build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story,
we fashion an empire’s glory.
One man, with a dream, at pleasure
shall go forth and conquer a crown.
And three, with a new song’s measure
can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying,
in the buried past of the Earth,
built Nineveh with our sighing
and Babel itself with our mirth.
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
to the old of the New World’s worth.
For each age is a dream that is dying,
or one that is coming to birth.

–  Ode, Arthur O’Shaughnessy

Last night a read and reread it. I don’t understand much about poetry other than a fleeting appreciation of how words can have an interesting impact on my senses and mood. I was then surprised to learn that despite my inability to be any kind of poem aficionado I did indeed have a favourites list.

A top 3 actually, so not much of a list.

  1. Desiderata
  2. Jabberwocky
  3. Ode

Well it’s a start.

Compared to my previous damning post about having too much choice, I’d say this has been an inspired, positive (mildy hypocritical) and uplifting experience. A short stroll through a suburb of Memory City and then a hop over to the outskirts to enjoy the sights along the lush meandering riverbanks of discovery and learning.

And finally…

If you happen to be artistic and the voices of inspiration whisper to you, or perhaps you are artistically challenged and hear nothing but silence or the rushing of wind passing between your ears, then take note of the meme below.

If you’re weird – congratulations. Be bold. Seek and share your magic.

If you’re unweird – I’d like to empathise with you, sincerely, but my imagination doesn’t enjoy not being able to imagine a life where I can’t imagine.

Just remember, without those “weird people” the world would be considerably less magical.

weirdpeople

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5 thoughts on “The Dreamers of Dreams

  1. I adore Roald Dahl and read every single one of his children’s novels to my offspring. Am surprised I have any voice left, with all the voices and noises used during my dramatic renderings. Later, they read the books for themselves. Recently I had to read The Enormous Crocodile to my grandson three times in succession (without a break to catch my breath). When my son was at school, they banned Roald Dahl one year for the Summer Reading List (as if any children took notice of this). It wasn’t because the school disapproved of his books, but because they were exasperated that nobody wanted to read anything else!
    Like you, I adored James and the Giant Peach, and enjoyed reading this out loud more than any other of Dahl’s novels. I also enjoyed reading his “Revolting Stories”. Plenty of drama potential there, plus rude noises.

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