The other evening my son and I wandered into what we thought was an antique shop, but turned out to be a portal into someone else’s mind. It was an art installation called Swampgas and Gossamer (best name ever) and it was like entering a Ray Bradbury novel. TIme was suspended for both of us, portals to the imagination were opened. It was virtual reality and pure fantasy by someone not constricted by society’s rules about how to live and dream. It was genius.
When I was a child I was hooked on reading from the first word I deciphered which was into. Words were ciphers and into was appropriate for me as it was my portal into a world of reading and my fiction of choice was fantasy. I read everything I could get my hands on–walking to the library to carry home a fresh supply weekly. Books were my exit strategy from real life. Not that I didn’t have a great childhood, but books took me to a different place.
After watching this video/podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb_yvBNLjNk&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2g9tp6sIQcaGpEW9DEHog104PlZpC9YBCJHzfSEtJSc4PD0jlHTnMivGE I realize these books all had one thing in common–portals–or exit strategies. I believed in them as a child and lost them as an adult. As an adult I would look for “windows of opportunities” to make changes, move or take a new job, but these opportunities were always driven by the children’s needs–and rightfully so. There was no longer a door in the back of the wardrobe.
We discuss exit strategies at work, we know how to exit a plane or building in an emergency, but we seldom exit our safe lives or dream of something different.
Two years ago I realized that the stories we are told as adults really only plan for two portals–retirement and death. Other than that we are to live a safe and boring life with a healthy retirement account–and hopefully good health and travel a bit. I realized I wanted a different reality and soon the portals began opening.
I sit here now watching the cottonwood drift, the lake ripple from fish jumping and the snow-capped mountain peaks. When I walk past a flowering tree I can actually hear the hum of hundreds of bees for the first time in my life. I sit and watch the last five minutes of the sun setting behind the mountains to acknowledge the end of another day. I’ve traveled, I’ve moved and I have a home base–which is different than a home. I have new friends and new work. I have some plans, but more importantly, I have portals and exit strategies to explore. I’m in OZ, and it’s magical.