Saturday, July 15, 2023

The Magic Portal




One of my first memories from childhood involved the television set. This was in 1958 when I was four years old. Early one morning, when it was still dark outside and everyone in my house was sound asleep, I tiptoed downstairs and turned on the tiny box of light. This little box—was the size of a shoe box and had only three channels. A grainy black and white and mostly grary picture appeared, but this only added to the mystery.

The television was more than just a box of light. It was a magic box of light. I believed that the people talking from inside the box of light could see me. After all, when Miss Nancy from Romperoom held up Magic Mirror she greeted the children in her audience by name. I will admit I was disappointed that she never mentioned me and I imagined this was because not many girls in America in 1958 were named Jamie. (Although, she did call out Jimmy once and so I took that as a sign that Magic Mirror was looking at me and sending a secret signal of hello and I see you.)

This is also why I never undressed in front of the television. I mean, after all, the people in the box of light could actually see you! So, even if I were home sick from school and I wanted to change out of my nightgown, I would hide behind the couch and change there and then return to the couch, reassured that no one had seen me and no one would call out my name on Romper Room and tell the world that they saw me in my underwear!

Back to that particular early morning in the darkness of the living room, I heard a man’s voice, but I didn’t see the man. Instead I saw a mountain covered in a blanket of mist and when it slowly cleared it revealed a pyramid of ancient stone structures reaching up and up into the sky. And then, the disembodied voice said that these were Maya ruins and that they’ve existed for thousands of years.

My entire world shifted that day. I had found a magic portal in a tiny television set.

Creative Friends: these magical portals exist all around you. You'll often find them in unexpected places--by your neighbor's pool at sunset, on a roller coaster ride, in the craggy face of the man at the Stop ‘N Go. And sometimes you'll find a portal in your aged father's pantry while cleaning out cans of creamed corn that expired in 1989. The surprise is part of the magic.

Your creative prompt for this week is to take a deep breath, walk into the mist of your imagination and look for portals. 

Have fun.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.