“Harold and the Purple Crayon” – In a short and simple book, Crockett Johnson lays out a call for us all to be brave enough to venture forth, try out new landscapes, and be assured we can find our way home through the art of looking anew. The story is an account of Harold’s grand adventure through life amidst joys and travails. On this particular adventure, Harold finds that he has lost his focus, becomes disoriented, and begins to seek high and low to return to familiar grounds. He searches for his bedroom window, quickly creating whole cities filled with windows – only to find the harder he looks, the more wrong answers he finds – and not a bit closer to home. In fact, it is not until he stops trying so hard that inspiration arrives – calling him to consider a whole new way of looking. He shifts his way of thinking, literally turning it inside out, and begins to look from the inside out. Once he was able to do that, he found that he was instantly brought home – problem solved.
Harold’s metaphor of life inspires me to keep my thinking ever fresh, he has helped me to learn to look for those quiet spaces, spaces that allow me to consider anew my experiences, thoughts, and problems. In doing so I find a refreshing new perspective to consider.