When I was six years old, my brother and I would spend hours playing with toy dinosaurs. We could go an entire day, happily making up stories about the T-Rex and Brontosaurus.
We would accompany our little plastic friends as they went on adventures, quarreled and fought, had romances. We were never bored.
When I became older I lost the ability to do this. I now look at those little plastic dinosaurs with fond nostalgia, knowing I can no longer bring them to life with such careless ease.
Now I create computer graphic worlds, implement algorithms, direct projects, script screenplays of lab demos. I have developed so many adult skills that I never had as a child.
Yet I wonder, perhaps all of this creative energy, all of the work of writers, artists, song writers, filmmakers, playwrights, the vast outpouring of culture itself, is actually a kind of compensatory energy.
We all remember, somewhere in the back of our minds, the effortless creativity of our earliest years, and in our hearts we know that we will never again regain those superpowers. So we use our adult minds to construct a simulacrum.
Maybe that is what really drives all of the cultural work we do, all of the planning, creating, inventing. Perhaps it is a kind of prosthesis, the nearest we can come to the magic of our lost childhood.