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I had a typical American childhood, and Halloween fun was as innocent as the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. All three performed the same function, that is, helping a child make that crossing from baby thinking to adult thinking.
So, this story is called: CROSSING THE LINE INTO REALITY.
Crossing over from a world of imagination, where anything is possible, to a world where reality is real. That’s what I did so many decades ago. I was six or seven years old,
We had had our Halloween party and costume parade in school that day, and it would be two hours yet before either of my parents came home from work and another hour or so before it was dark enough to put my costume back on and go Trick or Treating.
So there was “lots of time” to do other things, like walk down to my friend’s house and see if she could “come out and play.”
But I never made it.
There, about a half a block away, was a tiger! It was an upright tiger, brown and orange stripes, walking slowly on the sidewalk. It hadn’t seen me yet.
It was bigger than I was. Maybe, it had to be one of the big boys in the neighborhood, but it was too early to put your costume on, broad daylight, a sunny day – and a big boy would know that it was the wrong time. So it was a strange tiger, one that didn’t understand normal people.
I ran home and got into a room far away from the windows, and sat and thought about this. A weird tiger on the sidewalk. A large weird tiger. A large weird dumb tiger that doesn’t understand the way we do things. Unpredictable.
But it walked upright like a big boy would, and it looked like a costume… A very, very good costume. Convincing.
It was a very unpredictable world which placed two very convincing possibilities before me. Is it a tiger or is it a big boy in a costume?
I’ll never forget that afternoon of weirdness, where what I think I knew to be true seemed to dissolve before my eyes as evidence to the contrary competed for my sense of reality.
Now, I’m not going to go into politics and the news media, propaganda, censorship, and the distortion of reality; but I know that adults can become victims of their imaginations too. Words have meanings, but when the words we hear don’t seem to match the reality we see, we use our imaginations and our wishful, hopeful thinking to bridge the gap.
They say we are bombarded with such a flow of daily information that our minds just can’t handle it effectively. Reality shifts and bends and is manipulated for us by the experts until we don ‘t know how much Truth there is in the world we see.
My story has a good ending. I often remember that one Halloween day when I ran home and sat very quietly, and I thought about what is possible and what is impossible.
And then I knew that what you see isn’t always what is there.