Friday, November 08, 2013

The delicious toy

Found this drawing by Jean Cocteau folded into an old journal. The title, as I recall, is Le Jouet Délicieux, "The Delicious Toy." I can't recall why I saved it. It was a long time ago. From the date of the journal, it would have been at a time in my life when I was discovering the magic of language. I suppose the "toy" might represent creativity of any sort. The gift of fantasy. Of making the imagined real.

The toy is invaluable in science and in art. An apple falls from a tree, the moon is in the sky; Isaac Newton puts his toy to his lips and speaks the Principia. Van Gogh perceives a field of golden wheat; he lifts his toy and speaks a fluttering of terrible black crows. Cocteau breaths into his toy a fluttering of lovers.

Every 14-year-old wants one, or at least they did in my generation. Perhaps in this generation too, although it sometimes seems that all they want is a smart-phone. Will the young social media junkies, obsessively attached to their electronic toys, turn dreams into science and art, fantasies into passion?