I feel like this song was, for many American children, an introduction to Deep Thinking. Even at age 8 or 9 you heard this and thought something like, “There is some essential yearning and sadness and an essential sense of loss in life that we can’t escape, though many things are also beautiful and happy and the power of love and human connection is very real,” even if your mind didn’t yet have all these words in that order.

I love the South. The mud and the creeks and the moss and the lightning bugs and the oak trees and the pecan trees. Climbing trees and looking for snakes, I really miss all that. That was the best part of my childhood.

Wes Anderson’s Arrested Development. Interesting criticism here. This led to an aha! moment for me:

Nothing more perfectly evokes the feeling of both a child’s literal interpretation of the world and youthful big ambition on a frustratingly small scale like a school play, and Anderson smartly adopts this style.

[…] We don’t lose ourselves in the emotion of the production, and for the same reason we’re not meant to lose ourselves in the story of an Anderson film. Like in a children’s play, we are meant to be aware at all times of creative effort, for this is where its true value lies. Anderson’s ability to blend substance and form and communicate this feeling is his greatest skill. His films look like a stage plays: Sets look like sets, the frame becomes the proscenium arch (with a symmetry in the set that exaggerates and enhances the frame’s boundaries), and the action is kept in the center of the frame, usually directed out toward the audience in mainly medium or wide shots.

And I like this:

Anything that helps to enlarge an understanding is important, as large thinking is contagious and will contaminate all other areas of your life, so that eventually nothing will be allowed to remain simple and small.

The toy is the child’s earliest initiation into art, or rather for him it is the first concrete example of art…

Charles Baudelaire, “A Philosophy of Toys” (via) cf. “[Making art is] practicing a physical activity with a certain state of mind. It’s similar to a kid who is absorbed in deep play. A kid with a toy is in a relationship with that toy. The toy is playing with him just as much as he’s playing with the toy.” – Lynda Barry (via austinkleon)

To Invigorate Literary Mind, Start Moving Literary Feet

Through childhood I hiked, roamed, tirelessly explored the countryside: neighboring farms, a treasure trove of old barns, abandoned houses and forbidden properties of all kinds, some of them presumably dangerous, like cisterns and wells covered with loose boards.

These activities are intimately bound up with storytelling, for always there’s a ghost-self, a “fictitious” self, in such settings. For this reason I believe that any form of art is a species of exploration and transgression.

To Invigorate Literary Mind, Start Moving Literary Feet