When I was a little kid, going to parks, our art challenge prompt today, was a total joy! Though I loved the little swing sets and, of course, the slide, I was mostly a fan of the little creatures on a spring that you could hop on and take for a ride. The ride itself was really just up and down and sometimes a precarious sideways as they were “hopefully” firmly planted into the ground. It was perfectly ridiculous and completely satisfying. I could imagine a million places that I might be heading to on that little springy animal, including fantastic places from my dreams. No matter the destination, getting there was all of the fun. As I grew up, I traded in the bouncy ride for bouncing in my seat during class at school and imagining I was somewhere else. Teachers told me to sit still, and assumed I had attention deficit problems. I totally did, but in my defense, I wanted to learn things faster and was growing bored. One teacher finally recognized this and everything would change for me from that day forward.

I was plucked out of regular grade school classes a few days a week to work on my own projects. These were called “independent studies” and I could choose a topic of my choice to learn about each semester. This was back in the days before medications were ever considered an option. My problem wasn’t really a problem at all. I was just highly creative and my mind worked a bit differently than the majority of the other kids. Had there been other options, my mom probably wouldn’t have explored them. She rather enjoyed the fact that I was a bit different. It made me seem more special. But it takes a special sort of mom to deal with all of that. I wasn’t unruly, I just imagined a different world, a magical world that I loved to explore in my mind. In that world, I could do anything I set my mind to and there were no limits. I loved those grade school years and remember them fondly. And today, I’m happily still bouncing from one thing to the next.

And I feel totally grateful that nobody tried to make my brain function just like everyone else’s, but just let me be myself. We’re born such fabulous and creative creatures, yet step and by step we risk losing that in an effort to fit in. Sure, we must join in and be a functioning part of society at some point, but there’s little point in removing our own individuality to make that happen. This is the very thing that makes us so important to society in the first place. Life would be terribly boring were it only a sea of clones. The ability to imagine things that aren’t there isn’t necessarily a sign of insanity. It can also simply be the young artist’s mind at work. You might find him bouncing on a little metal animal and painting impossible pictures in his mind of places he’s not even visited yet. Perhaps, even places that don’t really exist at all. But maybe they should. When we’re artists, we get to choose. And in those moments of circular imagining, we can reconnect with and even wink at our inner child, as others think we’re only oddly reveling in the joy of going nowhere.

About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Benzimida Orange, Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Leaf Green, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
 Day 6 - The Joy Of Going Nowhere Kids Spring Ride - #doodlewashJune2018 Doodlewash


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30 thoughts on “The Joy Of Going Nowhere

  1. Adorable painting! I completely agree that kids who are “different” should be allowed to be that way, and that’s how I raised my kids. My 2 turned out great, although very different from each other. I’m so glad your mom left you the space to develop your creativity!

  2. I rode one of these springed animals when I was in my late 30’s with a 5-year-old friend and she told me I was too old to be doing it…BUT that didn’t stop me! Lol! 🤣 Thanks Charlie for being YOU! I love that you have such a creative mind! 💜

    1. YAY!!!! Love you! 😃💕 hehe… THIS is exactly why we’re friends, Jill! And when we finally meet in person one day, no matter how old we may be… we will STILL hop on those springed animals and go for a ride to nowhere together!! ❤️

  3. One park in the town where I grew up had this round metal thing with four bars on it where four kids would grab on and run in circles for all they were worth until we all jumped on for the spin. I loved that thing! Now it’s gone because it was too dangerous! Turns out a lot of things that were the most fun ended up being too dangerous. More’s the pity.

    1. Oh my gosh!! I remember that spinning thing and I loved it as well!! SO fun! Yeah, it seems that life has been replaced with fear and that’s never as much fun in the end. I survived riding bicycles without a helmet and even throwing lawn darts. Things I can now totally cherish!

  4. You are so very fortunate, Charlie, that your mom took pride in your uniqueness and your teacher found a way to let your imagination soar. Most kids are corralled into tight borders and suffer all kinds of unnecessary problems because of it.

    If you’ve ever watched very little kids play, you’ll notice that they constantly tell and act out stories. It’s fascinating to watch them. I wish kids were able to retain that imaginative view of the world as they grow, but most become compliant with the “rules.”

    1. Totally agree! 😃💕 As should come as no surprise, since my manifesto and entire website is set up to promote the idea. Seriously… why as a society do we try to make little clones? And yes to those little stories. My nieces and nephews are like little electric creativity machines. It’s astounding! It’s not a skill we learn… it’s simply one we have to re-learn.

    1. Thanks, Marina! 😃💕 Yep… If I were born today I would have been drugged within an inch of my life for sure! lol Even as an adult, I’ve been prescribed medication that I tried for just one day. The effect? It killed my crazy, that very thing that makes me think differently and be creative in the first place. So I poured them all out and have never been happier. 😉 There really shouldn’t be a prescription to treat our differences… they’re, in the end, what makes us human.

  5. This article needs to be seen by all.

    I think ‘drugging’ kids will go down in history as one of our greatest shames.
    A huge thumbs up to your Mom (and to you).

    As far as your springy little pal, I love it. (My son’s favorite was a springy frog at our local park.)

    1. Thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 Yeah, I think I’m living proof that a bit of crazy is most often benign. hehe… I grew up to be kind and generous and loving and managed to keep that bit of uniqueness that made me thank differently. I really can’t think my mother enough for that. And, yes, putting up with that. lol I was a handful to be sure! And yay to enjoying a little springy frog! FUN!

  6. Aww – this evokes so many lovely childhood memories! Thank you, Charlie! And yes, we do have to fit in in one form or another but here´s to all of us who let that inner child out to play and be creative and try to make this work a little bit better with every painting we create! 🙂 <3

    1. Yay to letting that inner child shine through, Sarah! 😃💕 That’s pretty much everything I believe in put simply. I can’t imagine a life where I would ever grow up and forget him. That would be a sad life indeed!

  7. Just delightful, Charlie! Your painting made me smile immediately, remembering those springy animals on the playground and your observation that they didn’t go anywhere except in our imagination is to wonderfully true. Your words on being and accepting your own self are equally wonderful and a super important reminder.

    1. Thanks, Ellie! 😃💕 So glad you liked this post! I think we are just our best selves when we accept what we are and do the same with everyone around us. If nothing else, it certainly makes the world more interesting and happy!

  8. They were fun! When I was at college, there was a park directly opposite the site. We couldn’t resist a go on the swings and springy things now and again. In fact I think the college once sent out an e-mail telling everyone to stay off because students were using them more than the children 😛

    I was plucked out of classes to do my own thing too, in first school – I was never told why, though! Me and my friend were taken to this secret room to play with K-Nex and play very early educational computer games every so often. I’m sure it beat what the rest of the class were doing.

    1. hehe! Yay! I knew we had much in common! 😉 💕I totally got pulled off of those springy things in college as well. And yes, I was never really told exactly why I was being isolated in my younger years.

      In fact, I was put in a little trailer next to another one that was labeled Special Education for people with extreme mental disabilities. Apparently, at either end of the spectrum, the educational system was at a loss as to what to do with kids who were different. But so thankful as it was WAY more fun than regular class for sure!

  9. Hello there, Im a very new subscriber to your blog and am loving every bit of your sketches as well as your writing. I missed reading a week’s worth of mails and as I read them, its become a habit to scroll right down and see the other similar links (mainly for your brilliant sketches). I stumbled upon this one and the title MADE me click on it and read. Thank you so so SO much for writing this. Its so comforting & reassuring to know someone else like my sister and myself. Much love and prayers for your well-being in this crazy time.

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