I remember having a dream once, when I was a child that was so happy that when I woke up I wished that I could go back to sleep and reenter the dream. As a child, I always knew when I was dreaming and usually if I didn’t like where I was, I could “switch” the channel. So then you grow up and as Joni Mitchell sang in “The Circle Game:” “Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true.”
Dreams and imagination are important. That’s why we love science fiction or vampire movies. That’s why we imagine that we could recreate dinosaurs. Indeed, artists and writers are really dreamers.
This afternoon I was starting to pour through the many “this year’s best photographs” and I was in a mood. I was looking for something upbeat and happy. And I came upon this wonderful picture from Rex Features showing showing delighted children, visitors to Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks, UK gleefully waving at a mermaid in the shark tank. The mermaid in question is aqua-veterinarian (a sturgeon surgeon?) Dr. Daniela Rodler.
This is really a wonderful image on many levels. It makes us happy, first because of the smiling children and second because of the mermaid that reminds us all of childhood – a time when while we knew there weren’t really merpeople, it didn’t really hurt to believe in them just a little. We see the incongruity of the picture, but it really doesn’t bother us. We were all children once. We still believe just a little. Oh, and I like the fact that these are English children. English children are the children of Peter Pan and of the Cottingley Fairies.