“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. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” ~ Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr Seuss
Happy Birthday to our beloved Dr. Seuss. I remember loving his Hop on Pop when I was in kindergarten. It was still a “new” book then, only three years old, and no one knew what a classic it would become. But it went on to become one of the first books I bought for my own child when he came around decades later.
Nonsense is wonderful. Children are good with it, but so many times, the adults around them tell them to “Stop the nonsense.” I agree, there are times when misbehavior is inappropriate, and some nonsense is worrisome–but imaginative nonsense? Go for it!
To this day I adore Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” and Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat” and Nash’s “Tale of the Thirteenth Floor” (Nash is not really for kiddies). And who doesn’t love the books of Roald Dahl? Fantasy, a side realm of nonsense in a way, is probably one of my favorite genres of literature. I still read a good measure of what is deemed “children’s literature” just because the authors encourage my imagination. One of the many benefits of the Harry Potter books is that they brought masses of childless adult readers back to the world of children’s literature.
We think of nonsense verse and writing as for children, and often it is, but if we don’t keep our child’s imagination alive, live becomes very dull indeed. Don’t be afraid to be child-like. It’s very different from childish, which is a negative adjective for adult behavior.
But child-like? That’s a wonderful state to maintain. Allowing our imagination free reign, seeing things from a non-jaded perspective, lets us laugh at things with delight, which, I can assure you, beats being miserable.
So excellent advice from Mr. Geisel that I heartily second. Explore some nonsense today.