Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Remembering to Fly

The she remembered that she too, could fly.
Words & stock photo collage by Victoria Lynn Hall*

41 years ago today, John Lennon was murdered.  Unlike the day George Harrison died, I don't remember that day.  I was just a kid and the adults in my life tended to at least try to keep me from knowing unpleasant things.  I always found out eventually though and would feel blindsided, stupid, foolish, disoriented...and many other things when the truth would shatter the comfortable lies I was told.  I became hypervigilant and distrustful and committed myself to learning and knowing all I could so I could be prepared instead of caught off guard and having to endure everything that came with being "the last to know."

My refuge was music.  It kept me company while I hid in the safety of being alone.  Most of my best childhood memories are of me in my room, singing along to my stereo and dancing - imagining that the musicians I admired were there singing and playing and dancing with me.

The Beatles were my favorite band.  I stole their albums so often from my older brother or sister's rooms that my parents bought me my own copies just to keep the peace among us.

I don't remember the exact moment that I learned of John Lennon's death but I do remember making a somewhat conscious decision that I would not let it sink in.  For once I was adopting the example that the adults in my life set for me and choosing to deny a reality that I wasn't comfortable dealing with.  No matter what was true in "the real world", when I put on my Beatles records, John Lennon was there, singing and dancing with me, and that's where I needed him to be.

I often repeat this quote by artist, Lynda Barry:

“We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.”

There is such a thing as healthy escapism.  Or just taking some time away from the stressful and depressing aspects of reality to indulge in the reality of things that bring you solace, joy and/or inspiration.  If you do that too much or do it in a way that just numbs you, it's not good for you but not doing that enough can be detrimental as well.  Knowing we can always retreat to our imagination - whether it is through music & dance, other forms of art, meditative practices, or any number of other enjoyable activities - is what enables us to face the dark, difficult or stressful realities of life.  

In fact, I often wonder if it is because I have my imagination to retreat to that I am able to accept some of the truths that others seem reluctant to see.  What I do know for sure is that when I find myself getting depressed by the problems in my life or in the world, remembering to put on some music and dance - to give myself that time to just let things go and fly above it all - is a very effective way of practicing self care.

If you share my collage, please credit me, Victoria Lynn Hall and link back to this post if possible.  You can also find and share it on the Facebook Page.

* Collage photo credits

Dancer with cat - mehdi lamaaffar

Sky with plane - Leio McLaren

Plants - Cherry Laithang

Butterflies and Bird Stock Image elements were purchased from Dreamstime

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