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Imaginary Day Trips: “Space, the Final Frontier”

Star Trek fan or not, these words are now a part of our cultural heritage. Sometime ago, I was struck by the idea that the final frontier may not be outer space, but inner space instead. The depths of the human mind, spirit and heart contain a universe as vast as the one out among the stars.

The character, Guinan, played by Whoopi Goldberg on Star Trek, The Next Generation, expressed this with her line “That's the wonderful thing about crayons. They can take you to more places than a starship.”

I have on my writing desk two 40th anniversary boxes of Crayola Crayons, sixty-four crayons, all of the original colors from 1958, when I was 6 years old. Every time I see the boxes my imagination takes a day trip to visit that child I was. One box is still unopened for future generations of day trippers to marvel over, or sell. The other box is open and slightly used. For an instant memory trip, I open the flip-top and inhale the scent of childhood.

As a writer, I love to surround myself with toys, kitschy collections of doodads that make me smile: a yo-yo, a green Lucky Buddha bottle, and my blue “Beam me up, Scotty” ruler are among my favorites.

Writing is all about inspiration and imagination, can’t have one without the other. If either are missing, no more mind, spirit or heart day trips. What a frighteningly boring life we would have without these quiet adventures to enjoy, excite and share with others.

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