Friday, January 6, 2012

The Wisdom of Maurice Sendak

I've long been a fan of Maurice Sendak, beloved children's author and illustrator (most notably of "Where The Wild Things Are.")

So, I was thrilled when I caught an interview that Terry Gross (host of NPR's "Fresh Air" program) conducted with him this past fall on his latest book "BUMBLE-ARDY."

At 83 years young, Sendak is feeling his age...but as he claims, in a good way.

A few years ago, he lost his partner of 50 years, Eugene.  Recently, he's been saying goodbye to friends like his long-time publisher and family members like his brother.

An atheist, Sendak finds his joy in writing/illustrating, traveling, listening to music and engaging in life.  In an interview he did with a UK publication, "The Guardian," he said, "I refuse to lie to children.  I refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence."

As Sendak continued with Gross, he talked about the power of growing old and staying young.  He claims that the beauty lies in realizing that life is about living and loving in all of its messiness....and there's no one that does it better than children.  There's no need to lie to them about the monsters that exist in the world or the unfairness of circumstances.  They accept it and find a way to still be kings and tame the unruly beasts.  They find a way to make magic.

There will come a day when we will all die.  So, why not choose to make magic today.  To embrace what we've been given and to create that which we cannot see.  Because as Max so aptly says, "And now, let the wild rumpus start!"

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