Word Count: 320 words Reading time: 2-3 mins.
Last week I tossed a pile of junk mail onto the kitchen table and these words jumped out at me: Three Days to Save Planet Earth. I blinked and looked again. The flyer actually read: Three Days to Save. I don’t remember what was being advertised because I was too busy catching my breath from the false alarm that the entire planet was three days away from annihilation. I know it’s polluted and overcrowded but I mean, really?
At times my imagination seems to be the most active part of my body. Jules de Gaultier said, “Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.” By those standards I guess I’m well armed.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry thought a rock pile ceased to be a rock pile the moment a single person saw in it the image of a cathedral. As a child I passed many hours building castles on the gray sands of Kye Bay. They housed magical creatures that carried me far away from my dull, earth-bound existence. Those creatures deserted me for a while when I grew up. I’m glad they found me again.
But when I misread that flyer, I immediately started wondering what I should do with my last 72 hours. Very quickly, reality slapped me down with a thud, as it often does. I don’t mind though; in fact I’m grateful that my imagination still launches itself in random directions like this. Without it, that pile of mail would have been nothing more than a stack of paper on its way to the recycling bin. Instead it was a rich opportunity to contemplate an alternative reality.
That flight of fancy wasn’t all that unusual for me and it made me wonder: is this a form of mild dyslexia? Do other writers see things that aren’t there? If you’re one that does, has your distorted reading, hearing, or seeing ever led you to a great story or plot twist?
Photo by: Len Green