PEACE IN WINTERTIME IN SKOWHEGAN.MAINE You know, it is a funny thing but sometimes my imagination is strongest when I see something that is almost empty. Like this painting that my friend Beena sent to me a while ago that I named Peace in Wintertime in Skowhegan, Maine. In fact, this is one of the first painting that my friend Beena shared with me, way before we were even thinking of putting together this collection of paintings and imagination stories. Even though my friend Beena did not make this painting for our collection, I kept thinking about it and looking at it each time I got a new painting from my friend Beena. I kept going back to it over and over again. My imagination kept taking me back to this painting so I decided to add it here today. I hope you like it and that it also makes your imagination go wild like mine does when I look at it!
I think that part of the reason why my imagination likes things that are almost empty is because it makes me feel philosophical. Philosophical, now that is a mouthful of a word. Why do people, especially grown up people, have to come up with such fancy words for things anyways? Why? After all, being philosophical just means that you think a lot about important things. So why not just say that instead of saying a word that is so hard to even pronounce? Anyways, whenever I look at a painting that is almost empty it makes me feel like thinking hard about important things. Is your imagination also like that or is it just me? Also, I like to think hard about important things when I am travelling in the car with my children.
One time I was travelling on a long car trip with one of my sons and we spent like an hour talking about something called “free will”. “Free will” is another word that adults made up just to make things more complicated than they need to be and so that they have something to spend thousands of years arguing about. Yes, yes, you heard me right; adults have been arguing over the question of if human beings have free will or not for more than 2,000 years. And what are they even arguing about anyways? I’ll tell you. Basically, the question of free will boils down to the question of whether people do things because they want to or because their parents told them to. It’s that simple, really. So what do you think? Do you do things because you simply want to do them or because your parents taught you (or told you) to do them? Well, that day in the car I was telling you about, my son and I spend an hour (maybe even more, I cannot remember) talking about this question. Basically, I think that my son does things because of what he was taught (by me, of course ) and he thinks that he does what he does because he chose to do it by himself and so he is free to do whatever he wants; he has “free will”. What do you think? Do you agree with my son or with me?????
Now, there is one last thing that I want to tell you now. And it is a little bit sad, but only a little bit. What I want to tell you is that this is the last painting in this collection. Yes, the collection is coming to an end. I know, it is sad ( ), but the reason I say it is only a little bit sad is that I am sure that my friend Beena will continue to paint her beautiful paintings and that she will continue to send some of them to me and that will make my imagination continue to think of stories that I will continue to write down. So, chances are that we will make another collection one day in the future and, if that happens, I promise you that I will tell you why we decided that this collection should have nine and exactly nine, not less and not more than nine stories.
And don’t forget – for each of the nine paintings in this collection we need to imagine 1,000 stories, together. So, what story or memories do you see in this painting called “Peace in Wintertime in Skowhegan, Maine”? Maybe you can look for the town of Skowhegan, Maine on a map and then you can imagine stories about it. Think of it and then write it down. Oh, and don’t forget to pass it on to a friend so that we can come up with 1,000 stories for this painting, together.