Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Do Ghosts Play With Toys?

“The very idea of a universal stability, an eternal firmness of principle out there that can be sought for through the world as might an Arthurian knight for the Grail, is, in the morphology of history, a direct outgrowth of the search for lost gods ... ”

Julian Jaynes
quoted in The Mythologies Of Facts

“A toy is an abstraction distilled into concrete form. A drawing that becomes real, that enters our three-dimensional world and leaves the two-dimensional surface behind. Our response to this solid expression of hypothetical concept is a powerful one: at a deep instinctual level our imaginations recognize a dream made corporeal—a magical translation of idea into object. The more faithful the translation, the stronger the toy. The ability of a toy to reduce, whether by being a scaling down of a much larger real thing, or by being a representation of an idea that couldn’t exist, is what makes it powerful: a hypothetical concept has become a tangible symbol you can hold in your hand. ... If a toy is a solidified concept, a journey from wishspace to reality, it also acts on the imagination to pull the user in the other direction, to complete the circle from real to unreal, by making the user identify with or through it. To play with a toy is to enter a representational space; the toy becomes an avatar—the embodiment of an idea.”

Woodrow Phoenix
quoted in What Is A Toy?

If I’ve known a ghost, that ghost worked hard
to convince me that ghosts are not real
and even if ghosts were the real deal
they’d be like kids playing in their yard,

games without frontiers and no scorecard,
like kids they’d have nothing to conceal,
their play, their fun, their love we would feel
and we’d be toys they’d cherish and guard.

If I’ve known a ghost, as I look back,
as I think it through, I’m terrified.
That toy business is what scares me most.

I’ve seen kids take a hammer and hack
toys to pieces, then smile, satisfied.
I’d never play. If I’ve known a ghost.

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