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Mar 02 2017

Laughing at Life’s Realities

Image: Anders Jildén via Unsplash

Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.

Theodore Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. “Dr. Seuss” was born on this day in 1904 (died 1991).

I’ve been a fan of fantasy, so to speak, ever since I read all of the Oz books, all of them, when I was in elementary school.

Truth be told, it probably started earlier than that because I had a subscription to the Dr. Seuss books, and I loved them. We still have the ones we purchased for our sons.

And, we’re keeping them.

Because of his writings, his birthday has been adopted as National Read Across America Day. Children across the country will be reading and celebrating today.

That’s a good thing.

Dr. Seuss had a unique way of making things make sense, and of teaching lessons through absolutely absurd stories and drawings.

We are all richer for it.

Let’s face it. The world is pretty crazy right now.

And I don’t just mean U.S. Politics or botched Oscar announcements.

Although both rise to the top of the absurd list.

So, why not turn to fantasy where we can escape to other words and see our heroes and heroines face impossible odds and win anyway?

Whether it’s Oz or Middle Earth or Hogwarts or Narnia or where no man has gone before, fantasy gives us an often brief, but needed, respite from the cares of the day.

I’m not a fantasy writer. I’ve tried and most of it sounded pretty goofy. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the files and may one day return to them.

I’m also not a children’s writer.

But that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy reading both.

I roll my eyes at anyone who says they don’t have time for fantasy, or fiction.

The way I see it, and I appear to be in agreement with Dr. Seuss, fantasy is necessary.

As the good doctor said, it helps us laugh.

And with that I’ll tell you a precious child story with, this time, myself being the precious child.

My Mother subscribed to the Dr. Seuss books when I was in first grade. I was learning to read and weekly…maybe monthly…I’d get a new book.

One day the book arrived entitled “The Book of Laughs.”

I did not know the word. My brother explained it to me, but I kept hearing “The Book of Last,” and was distraught thinking my world of Dr. Seuss had ended too abruptly (another word I did not know) and too soon.

I think my parents straightened me out when they got home.

And we probably had a good laugh about it. Or at least they did at my expense.

Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for the laughs.

And for more books.



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