Transmogrifier

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Spiderman, Superman, Wonder Woman: individuals who can be hardly called people, a super or extreme adjective affixed to their title. Their supernatural, superhuman abilities are constantly pitted against each other. 'Who would win in a fight?' heard around playgrounds, water coolers, and gyms alike. Well, here is my answer, and here is my hero: Calvin, the six-year-old of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin: timeless upon paper, and currently transmogrifying around the highways of cyberspace, books, newspapers, Captain Spiff cape trailing behind him as he ventures forth into his imagination. 'There is treasure everywhere,' he shouts, picking up space debris, earthworms, things we mature people would dismiss as junk.

I once had the opportunity to have a picnic with Calvin'well, picnic in the sense that eating happened to be involved, a sidenote in the day's activities. And I was changed. Even if he were observing bugs, digging in the pungent mud with the same hands he was using to eat the sandwich, I found wisdom in these potential hand-to-mouth disease actions.

Within Calvin lies the essence of whom we should strive to be: a curious young child, open to all new things, completely aware of the potential in everything. A brisk blue sky is a canvas for a story and questions, the whorls of wood a landscape of a new land, the stuffed tiger an alter ego of these questions. It is Calvin who taught me to look at the stars again, to breathe in upon a brisk day, and to find satisfaction in seeing my breath, a manifestation of my existence. It is the Calvins who change the world, learning from all, adding to their fire of wisdom, until they bring light to the entire world, change, revolution. And so it is Calvin who is my hero.

Our conversation started with me handing him a sandwich, which he promptly took apart while concocting some story about a town, a fortress, a deadly space blob. And I sat back, content to observe, reveling in the creativity and originality. But soon, soon, I was unable to resist, joining in. We wandered through the park, coming upon a tattered cardboard box, yet to our eyes, a time machine. Stepping in, my imagination creaked into action. Eons flashed by, both the fantastical and the real, until we stopped, his 'transmogrifier' in front of us. Within this new converted cardboard box we traveled not through time, but perspectives. Transmogrifying from species to species, until I fell asleep in the form of a tiger, tired, exhausted, but satisfied.

Calvin helped me to remember magic. It is Calvin who prompted me to wipe the dust off my imagination and shake the wrinkles out of thinking outside the box. With Calvin, I remembered. With Calvin, I once again dreamt, created'and transmogrified.





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