Friday, January 15, 2016

The Monsters of Our Imagination

When I was little, my grandmother used to tell me stories about the radio show Little Orphan Annie and about what she assured me was the older and more 'real' Orphan Annie who, she said, was from Scotland (like my grandfather).  I don't remember the stories themselves exactly but I do recall Nana's delight in telling them--they were about ghosts.

When I was a bit older, I designed and created a cross stitch sampler for my mother to hang over the guest room bed.  It displayed the Orphan Annie quotation that Nana had taught me during the days of story-telling:

From ghoulies and ghosties 
and long-leggitty beasties
and things that go BUMP in the night, 
Good Lord deliver us!

When I was older still and Nana long gone, I found a framed print at a flea market.with that same quotation.  I pondered long because $7 seemed a dear price but I just had to have it.  The artwork looks similar in nature to Arthur Rackham and the print appears to be hand-colored.  I suppose I could solve the mystery of the artist's name and what sort of print exactly it is but I've never cared to disturb the framing.

That print hung on the wall of my bedroom for several years before I ever noticed the secret in the picture.  It's a charm of sorts, I suppose, and maybe a promise of the surety of safety.  Perhaps some might see more quickly but it took me a long time to look deep and realize the truth:  
the monsters of our imagination are harmless.

Should I give you a clue?  Well, actually,  I already have.

Spoiler ahead:  I'm gonna tell the secret.  If you want to figure it out yourself, avert your eyes.

(The monsters are all harmless.  Now, say it with a Cockney accent:  The monsters are all 'armless.  Harmless.  None of the monsters in the pictures have proper arms--thus, the monsters are armless, harmless.)

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