Daydreaming on Paper

When you play Monopoly, which figurine do you usually grab? The horse. I’ve always played the horse, and when I don’t get the horse I am usually relegated to the dog, as my second choice. I think it comes from when I was younger and had an obsession with horses. No horse was just a horse to me. All of my sketchbooks from that period are filled with horses and unicorns. Even though I am not as obsessed with them now, I still find those creatures admirably beautiful, graceful and powerful. I would love to be able to learn how to ride. It’s on my ‘to do before I die’ list. The rider on the monopoly piece was always secondary, and quite frequently I’d wish I could take him off, because he ruined the line of the horse figure. I think I like animals better than I liked people, I mean I loved The Black Stallion books because the main character was less Alec and more The Black. My imaginary world was populated with animals who were more intelligent than their human counterparts, or with shape changers. I was sick even then of hearing nasty things in the news, and about the idiotic things that people do to each other. I think I still like animals better than people. This is why I never liked to play monopoly if I had to be one of the other pieces, because they all symbolised something about the human condition that I was already disillusioned with. It took me until my excursions at the library lead me to the big picture books at the back about Amazon people and Tibetan people to start to admire some aspects of the human condition. I will always play the horse in monopoly though, because more than anything, the horse is a symbol of that freedom of imagination that I enjoyed in my childhood. I still, when I’m writing, or drawing, try to recapture some of that existence outside of reality.

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