January 30, 2010

What Would You Do With Spiderman's Head, Arms, And Legs?

When we are children spontaneity and creativity are how we roll. The borders and limits of the 'realities' of the adult world are not yet obvious. Joy rules the day and fun is made with natural and found objects. Pillows and blankets become forts, pots and pans musical instruments, and natural areas the settings for major adventures. Anything is possible.

As constricted grown ups with adult responsibilities we set aside our childhood ways. This often means simultaneously setting aside much of our spontaneous nature, as well as our belief in our own creative powers. When we are free of stressful conditions, are unafraid, and have time to be ourselves, the magical qualities of childhood can once again guide our discoveries.

This week I found a Spiderman action figure while out for a walk in the hood. The webbed wonder had obviously tangled with an evil foe, and lost. His body section was in rough shape and I buried it solemnly while several spiders gathered nearby. The limbs and head I put on ice and brought home.

When I got home Linda reminded me that we took a well-ripped Spiderman action figure traveling overseas with us. It was an unclaimed toy at the end of a year of teaching grade 6, and it acted as our unofficial mascot.

Could this be the same one? Did he follow us from the prairies? Last time we saw him he was hanging from our friend's houseplant, scanning the living room for nefarious activity. But that was 5 years ago and 1500 km away.

We started thinking of things we could replace Spiderman's torso with. An early idea was Spiderloaf (not that kind of loaf), because I had just baked a couple of banana loaves. We fused Spidey's head and limbs to the loaf, but he looked bloated and slow. Plus he was nutty. Walnutty.

The versions seen here were created complete with lyrics for the theme song. We also thought about their special powers.

Spiderpod, for example, can spin a world wide web and download about 150 songs.

Spiderdriver can solve any crime as long as it has a Phillips head.

Spiderpen could have been Spidersword, but his keen senses told him which was mightier and he requested a pen/body transplant.

Finally, we have Spiderband. He's bendy and stretchy, and can propel himself vast distances with a single snap.

The grown-up world, highly over-rated in my opinion, is not as set as we think, and responsibilities can and should be set aside occasionally for mental health purposes. It feels good to reclaim the best parts of childhood so that we can again feel the magic. Feel the joy. Run. Jump. Play.

Shakti Gawain says, "As you open to the playfulness in the universe, you see its humor in many ways."

I try to play a bit each and every day.

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