Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spinning Magic Tree House to the Louvre

At the Louvre... thinking about my daughters.  Traveling without them is tough, especially on days like today.

There is this kid's book Xian has been reading to me, Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House, about this brother and sister, Jack and Annie who have this magic porthole in their backyard that allows them to time travel.

You see, the two kids just climb up the tree house that has magically appeared, open a book, and point to a page.

Then suddenly the tree house starts spinning, and Jack and Annie hold on, until it comes to rest in the amazon or in medieval times or with ninjas or in the time of dinosaurs.  The books are awesome and simple and grow in complexity as the reader grows too.

The characters are different too.  Annie is an pure adventurer... an adrenaline junkie who never thinks just jumps into trouble.  Jack is a born journaler... he is always stuffing a book into his backpack and chasing off after his younger sister...

Who he is always trying to keep out of trouble.

I guess what I love about listening to my daughter read these books to me is that she is growing too, that she is learning that books can transport you to magic places in your mind.

Art does that to people, doesn't it?

As I backback through Europe, I find I have so little time to think.  Just go and experience and see and go to the next place.  I feel like I'm spinning just like Jack and Annie.

I need to rest.  See.  Think.  We all do.  A life can't be lived at this pace.  Something will break.

So I go to the Louvre today, walk all day among the priceless pieces of art that have inspired and challenged and shaped our world.  And then... well, I collapse into a cafe chair and breathe for the first time in days.

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