Here’s another children’s book review/rambling:
I’ve been reading the book, Ish, by Peter H. Reynolds with H. It’s a new favourite. Peter H. Reynolds also wrote one of my favourite children’s books, The Dot. While I think The Dot is superior in many ways to Ish, there is still something to be said for the latter.
In Ish, a young boy named Ramon loves to draw. He is constantly drawing until his older brother Leon makes fun of him. All of a sudden, Ramon becomes critical of his work. After a time his younger sister Marisol shows him that not everything has to be “perfect” or “right”. Ramon learns that by letting go, he can once again enjoy drawing and other creative pursuits. The book ends with Ramon living “ishfully ever after.”
I think the lesson in this book is more for me than for H. I am attempting to live “ishfully” with my writing. My writing may not be perfect or right, but it brings me to a place of joy and contentment and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. By deciding to write for me and letting go of my ideas of perfection and rightness (although I still refuse to publish a haiku that is not in the traditional 5-7-5 format) I am able to be like Ramon, who when thinking ish-ly is able to feel “light and energized.”
This is what I wish for my writing and for my life. For it to be “ish.” Instead of looking at the problems or constraints or difficulties, I can focus on the beauty, the enjoyment, the promise. My goal is to be like Ramon and live ishfully ever after.
If you’re in a creative slump, or looking for a book to encourage creativity within yourself or your child, or just wanting a quick pick-me-up, I recommend Ish.