Friday, November 16, 2007
The Big Orange Splot
Yesterday Jasper and I were in our building's foyer when he had me sit down on the stairs and pulled up a chair facing me. "Let's talk about our feelings," he said.
"Oh, great idea," I said, recovering from my shock. "Where did you get this idea? From school?"
"No," he said. "From The Big Orange Splot."
We went on to talk about scary feelings and regular feelings, what they look like, what makes us feel them. Jasper projected his scary feelings on the wall next to us and we pressed pretend buttons to shrink them. How does he come up with this stuff?
Apparently we owe something to The Big Orange Splot. It was one of my favorite children's books -- our copy was actually my brother's, but I stole it from my mother's house when I came across it this summer. (I'll send him a new copy of his own.) It's about a man named Mr. Plumbeam who lives on a street where all the houses are exactly the same. One day, he wakes up and finds a big orange splot on his roof. His neighbors expect that he'll get rid of it so they can keep having a neat street.
Instead, Mr. Plumbeam paints a fantasy on his house, with crazy colors and images. He plants palm trees, strings up a hammock, and gets a pet aligator. The neighbors are scandalized. One by one, they visit Mr. Plumbeam and try to get him the change his house. Instead, they stay up all night talking about their dreams. Each neighbor follows his visit to Mr. Plumbeam by painting his house with his own fantastic vision. Soon, their street is no longer neat; but it's a great deal more interesting.
"My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be, and it looks like all my dreams." I love this sentiment so much better than that cleanliness is next to godliness line. Anyway, that's how I hope all three of us feel about our home.