“I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the Park (Disneyland). I want them to feel they’re in another world.” – Walt Disney
Creative energy feels like a force you can’t control.
When I’m writing, sometimes the words pour out of me like a rushing river, as if I’m just the passenger on an inflatable boat along for the ride.
Other times the words are like a painfully slow drip from the faucet, squeezing out with an effort that makes me question their worth.
Writer Anne Lamott’s famous advice is, even if the writing is terrible, “Butt in chair. Just do it.”
Who am I to question Ms. Lamott?
This week, my family took a trip to Disneyland. Talk about creativity on display in full form; Disney was nothing short of a creative genius.
Since creativity breeds art and art evokes emotion, I thought I would reflect on the range of emotions that I felt while having the Disney experience.
Overwhelming sentimentality as we stood in line to meet the Frozen characters. We were surrounded by movie screens playing well-known songs and scenes from Disney movies, and watching my kids stare at the screens in awe, I got a little choked up.
Sheer joy when I witnessed my daughter’s excitement over meeting Anna and Elsa. Yep, not sure who was happier about the encounter. My daughter, or me.
Embarrassment in the Turtle Talk with Crush show. Parents, heed my warning: If your child is currently obsessed with butts, poop, and flatulence (not to generalize, but 5-year-old boys tend to be particularly susceptible to this obsession), by no means allow them to have the microphone during this show, lest you have to claim your child after he makes fart noises to a room full of people.
Exhilaration on my all-time favorite ride, Soaring Over the World. Whenever I feel the itch to travel to India, maybe I can scratch it with this ride.
Delight to notice the crescendo of music in the background as we ate lunch. I’d forgotten how music is used to set the tone at the park.
Concern over whether my daughter will nap in the stroller since she is so obviously exhausted from the late night traveling the night before. Relief when she gives in to her fatigue.
Pride that my little guy is willing to bravely go on Splash Mountain for the first time. Appreciation that my mom is willing to watch my daughter while I act like a Big Kid wanting to go on the ride. Excitement that the line for the ride takes less than five minutes.
Empathy for the mom dealing with three daughters that all came from the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. That couldn’t have been cheap. My empathy grows for her when one of the daughters starts throwing a fit and I can almost see the smoke coming out of the moms’ ears.
Amusement as my son exits Thunder Mountain, when he declares to the next people getting on, “Be sure to enjoy the ride. It’s awesome!”
Wonder when I discuss with my parents the last time we went on Tom Sawyer’s Island, and my Dad mentions that he remembers the last time he went on it as a child. I realize that part of the magic of Disneyland is in the memories that are made in generation after generation.
Exhaustion as the day comes to a close but we reluctantly go on one final ride.
But the overarching theme of the day was gratitude.
I felt grateful to make such wonderful memories with my family, grateful for every moment I witnessed joy on my children’s faces, and grateful for every moment I felt like a kid again.
Walt Disney did it right. The feelings that Disneyland evokes makes you feel that you’re in another world – the forgotten world of childhood innocence. True art, be it a book, a movie, or an amusement park, moves us and transports us to a new world.
Disney is quoted as saying, “Somehow I can’t believe there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy.”
I would add one more C to Disney’s success: Creativity.
Now I shall end this post, as the final drops come out of the faucet.
I planted my butt in the chair and used the fifth C today, yet still managed to make the word “butt” appear four times in this dang post.