We're all memory builders but the memories we build are so very different. Though we are the same, we are, most definitely, very, very different.
Almost everybody has a refrigerator magnet or two.
We have one that I love.
"Remember that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!"
I love that quote, though there is some debate over where it originated. It's something that I think we can all agree on the sentiment.
We've just wrapped up another memorable holiday in Cornwall. I'm already getting nostalgic for the long walks, bright sunrises, stunning sunsets, and relaxing to the sound of the sea.
Part of the whole holiday experience, for me, is the train ride from St Erth to Paddington. The train passes by some of the most picturesque countryside. We pass Dawlish, Teignmouth, and Saltash. We finally arrive in London at Paddington Station.
It was the stuff that takes your breath away. What great memories.
When we got back to Kings Cross last week, I paid a bit more attention than I normally do to the throng gathered at "Platform 9 3/4". Under the sign, there's a trolley, some suitcases, and a birdcage partially embedded in the brick wall.
Of course, Platform 9 3/4 is where Harry Potter famously transitions from the real world into the magical world of Hogwarts, magic wands, and Quidditch. It's the beginning of his magical journey.
I can be a bit cynical about this kind of stuff.
Why do people get so excited about a book or a movie or a sports team? I'm trying to understand.
I don't get all hyped-up for some fake trolley stuck in a wall.
Though people are the same in so many ways, we are oh so different as well. Maybe Harry Potter was a big thing for them.
I guess I shouldn't get so cynical about it.
I remember telling a friend, one time, that I was going on a holiday and there was nothing but beach for miles. This was my idea of heaven.
She said, "Where's the bar? Where's the nightclub? Where's the excitement?"
That's the point! I was after no excitement.
She said, "That would drive me crazy real fast" (she really said bat-shit-crazy but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt here).
Different people have different priorities. What I find lush and relaxing can be seen as boring and dull by somebody else.
The same way, I didn't grow up with Harry Potter but the kids who did are now getting out and feeling their way around the world. The trolley and the wall must evoke pleasant memories for them. I guess they're trying to capture a bit of that feeling again.
Perhaps, more than anything else, Harry Potter lets us dream like my generation did with Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, or Bilbo Baggins.
They bring us out of our everyday lives and make us feel like we're partners on their fantastic journey.
We're vacating our existence to participate in their world.
I guess it's kind of a vacation.
For me, that's what art should be as well.
Good art should help us to vacate our normal life and be transported to another magical world. Art lets us build memories or remember things that are important to us.
That's probably why I've painted this lighthouse above so many times. It reminds me of our four-mile beach-walk to have lunch at the Godrevy Cafe here. When I look at this painting it all comes flooding back to me. Life is good.
I'll probably paint that lighthouse many more times in my life. Just because it makes me feel good. It's a whopping great memory.
So, when I breeze through Kings Cross, and I see the crowd of people gathered around that half a trolley, I'll try not to be so cynical. I'll try not to be so critical. I can feel good for the memories they're creating or reliving.
I can understand why but I guess I still don't get it.
For me, I'll stick to long walks, fresh air, and a bit of color splashed here and there.
Not bad, I think.
Until next week, I wish you peace.