Coming home

Two pen drawings and a brief mention to a very old book about a little boy and a purple crayon

“We live in a culture that’s becoming increasingly mental, and it’s easy to forget that we engage life through the body. Enjoying your hands will help you come home to the living body” Rick Hanson PhD












To carry on a bit from the previous post being securely attached in childhood and growing up with a sense that returning home (secure base) after our explorations is always a possibility creates resilience and a place within that we always feel at home. Through listening to something online yesterday I was reminded of a very old book: Harold and the Purple Crayon, written by Crockett Johnson in the early fifties. I didn’t own a copy, but it was read to me in a learning setting. There are many lens through which to see the messages of this very popular book. It seems to refer to the power of our imagination and creativity, our capacity to visualize and dream up adventures, relieve boredom, find freedom and sanctuary in our imagination. But what struck me from my adult perspective is that little Harold never really finds his way home. After frantically drawing countless  buildings with countless windows he realizes that he is lost in a maze of high buildings with windows, but his own window is nowhere in sight. Since he cannot find the familiar window of his own bedroom he decides to draw, with his purple crayon, his window and his bed. Finally, he draws the bed cover and falls asleep.  The fact remains that he is alone and he has not found his way home or back to physical reality. There are no loved objects around him, no familiar toys or pet nor a mum or dad nor any other caregiver figures to tuck him in. So, I pondered on how this part of the story might be received by young children without some reassurance to relieve fears or emotions that might come up. Maybe while reading the book we can provide children with crayons to fill up the illustration with their own ideas of what coming home feels and looks like.

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