In love with life…
“So Eric, when was the last time you spent an afternoon just sitting there feeling the sun on your face or spent time running around outside in the rain?” I was paying this woman how much to ask me these types of questions?
“Everyone knows the sun causes skin cancer and you will catch a cold if you get soaked through like that.” I knew there was bitterness to my tone.
“Everyone?” She asked looking up at me and pushing her glasses further up the bridge of her nose.
“Well the sane people do anyway.” I replied harshly.
“I am going to show you a picture and you tell me what you see.” She handed me a photo from a magazine.
“It is just a kid’s big wheel toy. I had one like it when I was five.” I really had no idea where Sally found this woman but she was not proving to be worth the time.
“What did it look like to you then?”
“Not much different.” I said rolling my eyes.
“Really?” She was pushing me to my limit.
I paused for a moment, not sure of what she wanted me to say. “Well okay a little different. It looked bigger but that was only because I was so small.”
“And did you ride it much?”
“Yeah, I suppose. I used to pretend it was a real motorbike that I entered into all these races. I even made myself paper trophies.”
“Okay then.” She said smiling. Then finally turned to the reason we were there in the first place and asked, “And what about you Sally? What did you used to like to play when you were a child?”
“I used to love to pretend to be a shopkeeper. I would take all my mother’s shoes out of her closet and line them up in the hallway. Then I would pretend to show them to different customers.”
“Was this a game you played often?”
“Oh yes, all the time.”
“I see.” She said. Then she turned back to me. “So you Eric had such a strong and vivid imagination that you could turn this small plastic child’s toy into a powerful adult machine and paper drawings into real live trophies.” Then she turned back to Sally. “And you never grew bored of playing the same game over and over again.”
I looked to Sally and we both nodded.
“Yet when you both first walked in here not thirty minutes ago you told me you wished to divorce after only being married a couple years. Your reasons for this were that Sally felt you lacked no imagination Eric, and you said she is just bored with the marriage. It seems to me that the problem is not with your relationship with each other but your relationship with life itself.”
The woman seemed to be on something. I had nothing against life, just my wife. She was cold and stubborn.
Doctor Fran as she called herself carried on talking. “As children we focus all of our attention and energy on only one thing at a time, we don’t notice anything else when we are in that pure moment of bliss. As we get older, we start to lose this gift. We allow our minds to become clouded with other things. Your assignment should you choose to accept it, is to spend the time between now and the next session playing and noticing things as you would have done when you were younger. I want you to do this as a couple and alone. Keep a journal of your thoughts.”
It took us a month or two but we both fell back in love with life and eventually well…
This was written for Indigo Spider’s Sunday Picture Press.
There could be a longer story here, Billie Jo…I want to know what happened over that month or two 🙂
Thank you! Perhaps I will expand it a little at one point, you never know. After all, I am currently working on a novel that started out as one of my flash fiction stories.
Beautiful story! Lately I haven’t taken the time to concentrate on only one deed. Your post made me realise how much I could be missing out on!
Thank you! I am pleased something within it resonated for you. It is a reminder I have to tell myself often.
Thank you Patti!
Nice story. It did get me thinking, though, about how many years it has been since I thought of only one thing. Probably I should throw out the word years and say decades. Thanks.
Thank you for your comment. The adult mind is just not the same as a child’s. Such a shame. I can remember staring at a simple object like an ant or a blade of grass and seeing only that object but on so many levels. Now, it is hard to separate objects from their backgrounds and then from life itself.
By the time the photo popped up at the end I had a big smile on my face! Great story. It is very true that we lose that focus as well as imagination factor of life. How you wove it into a couple finding their love again, love it!
I think the picture made me feel nostalgic and nothing summons that feeling for me more than childhood and first love. I think that is where the story was born. I am glad to have made you smile.
The subtext kept me spellbound…Robin
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