WhenI was a kid I used to spend time peering through cracks in walls. I am sure it caused my mother to worry that I was going to end up as a Peeping Tom (or Thomasina) or something like that, but she needn’t have worried. I was looking for something that existed beyond those cracks.
Those worlds you read about in fantasy novels where the grass is so green it appears to have been painted on the ground, where the sky is an unblemished blue, where there are mountains full of wondrous bird life and trees so old and wise they might as well be human. And the lakewater, clear as glass, sweet, the most refreshing drink you have ever had.
Oh, how I wanted to live in those worlds. I longed for it. I prayed for it.
And I came to believe that those worlds existed beyond the cracks in the walls. After all, how could such an urban, semi-industrial world full of metal and steel be the real world? It didn’t seem to be the way it should be. Humans didn’t want to live with all that traffic and smoke and dust. We wanted greens and blues and unclouded light.
We wanted to run and swing our arms and breathe in the air so clean it was intoxicating.
We wanted to be free.
The other day I saw this street art on a wall in Newtown and it made me remember that little girl who used to peer through cracks in walls, screwing up her face, clearing away the rubble with a chubby forefinger, standing on tip toe to see the world I knew was there if I looked hard enough.
This is what I wanted to see. The other world through the bricks, as breathtaking as Narnia through the wardrobe.
All in all it might just be another crack in the wall, but if you close your eyes and imagine the verdant lands and light-dappled lakewater hard enough, a little bit of magic breaks through.