Josephina van de Water

“The Lost Paracosmist”

Letter to my son My dear Lou, You can’t read this now (in August you will turn three) but apart from all the love and joy you bring in my life, you also inspired this project. Over the past 2 years, I saw you take your first steps, gibberish became words, your interest in stories grew and (pretend) play evolved. This made me think of my own youth, about my own pretend play, make-believe, stories and how important they are for children. I became more curious and started my research on pretend play and stories. I read different scientific books and all of them point out that we as humans have this unique ability of thinking, telling and inventing stories. Stories are magic like when you ‘read’ your picture books, they come to life for you. Stories have a power, they can explain things, change our emotions and so our decisions. They can also teach us about norms, values, systems and have an impact on our society that is not be underestimated. I just keep asking myself what stories you will grow up with and hope you will not ask me one day, mom what story should I believe? Because maybe I wouldn’t know how to answer. love mom. (A paracosmist is the creator of a paracosm, a detailed private imaginary world. A paracosm is often a quite sophisticated alternate reality that originates in childhood and he or she revisits periodically over years and may still retain as an adult. There is a clear distinction between reality and their own imaginary world. A paracosmist has a passionate relationship with his/her own subjective world, for which often a history, geography, language and/or drawings are created. These creations reflect on the way they understand and experience the ‘real’ world.)

© Josephina van de Water