Wonked out with a stomach flu! Yay me. Poured a glass of ginger ale, broke out the saltines, and doodled on a napkin provided by Smash Burger’s delivery guy while I decided whether I was ready to digest a grilled turkey burger yet. Here is Urp…not to be confused with burp.
Trying my hardest to find something whimsical in my current physical state. It would be much more fun to believe that my stomach has been mistaken for Earth by a tiny alien named Urp, who made plans to invade and attack without realizing his mistake and my stomach’s misfortune. With enough Ginger Ale, Urp can be burped out of my stomach and go back into space where he belongs. Alas, Urp is not real and it really is just a stomach flu.
Reality can bum you out sometimes so I think it’s important to foster a healthy imagination. In fact, one of my favorite live action shorts won an Oscar for that theme. It’s a movie from Denmark called Helium by Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson. The boy in the story has a terminal illness and he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a custodian. The custodian helps the boy use his imagination to conjure a magical afterlife that doesn’t seem boring or too scary. It gives him hope and peace. I caught all the Oscar nominated live action shorts at BAM, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and this was my favorite.
Last year’s Oscar award winning documentary, Inocente, caught my attention as well for the same reason I love the short, Helium. It’s about a girl named Inocente who was an undocumented homeless teen who had dealt with domestic violence when she was a small child but found an ARTS program that supported her vast imagination. Art was a way for her to escape the pain of her reality and create some joy with bright colors and whimsical creatures. She created a space within her imagination where she could be a child and play even though her reality didn’t seem to really allow her that opportunity. Currently, she’s preparing to do a show in NYC for May 12 (reception on May 15th) but she hasn’t revealed when or where yet. I’d like to go. Her paintings are nurturing for everyone’s inner child when you need the world to be sweet, innocent, and fun.
I’m sure there are countless artists who used art as an escape from a harsh reality. It’s a fabulous coping mechanism but, lest I stereotype all artists, not the only reason one creates. We create because we are not robots. We create anything because people need room to express their individuality, their humanity, and maybe there’s something spiritual in all of this too. We create because it gives us purpose. When we create, so might others and so on…and then, humanity wins!
Anyway, I think I’ve got Urp out of my system. CREATE!!!!