Last night, we watched Bridge to Terabithia as family. If you haven't seen it, the movie is about a girl, clearly born to be a writer, who reaches out to a troubled, artistic boy, and they create an imaginary world together in the woods. (Rough movie emotionally, BTW).
It reminded me of something I haven't thought about in years.
As a child, I had a quirky flashlight. The lens cover was cheap and imperfect, and it created a strange shape in the beam. A shape made of shadow and light.
When I took the lens off and turned it backwards, the shape got clearer. I could also make it shrink, grow, and even explode by moving it back and forth like a zoom lens. I gave the shape a personality and a name. It was an alien creature called "The Doggon." (Yeah, as in "put that doggone knife down!")
In a room with the curtains closed and the lights off, I would shine the light on the ceiling and create stories for my friend who lived across the street. They were stream of consciousness stories with action and voices and terrible struggles. My friend would watch without a word.
One day, a curious thing happened. We were moping around trying to decide what to do. The light show crossed my mind, but I didn't think my friend would want to hear me blather on for yet another hour.
But then, he mentioned it. He wanted me to do it. He said that he loved lying there listening. I could see something a little starstruck and vulnerable in his eyes. It shocked me.
Imaginative folks are different in that way, and that's the first time I think I realized it.
Did you have similar experiences in childhood? Were you the bridge maker to other worlds?