Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wildly Happy Wishes for Maurice Sendak's Birthday

Today marks the 79th birthday of Maurice Sendak, author of my favorite children's book Where the Wild Things Are. It was published in 1963, which synchronistically is the year of my own birth. I remember being captivated by the creatures in the book as I paged through it at an early age, not even bothering to read the text at first. I certainly identified with, and was quite envious of Max as he found himself in the midst of a scary but thrilling adventure among the big beasts of his imagination.

As an adult, I was able to see a performance in Chicago of the operatic version of the story, with a libretto by Sendak himself. It was a great pleasure to see the Wild Things step onto the stage in their full, bigger-than-life glory.

Packed away, I have a box of plastic Wild Things figurines awaiting a proper display case. That might be a good metaphor for where my life is at right now. I'm still looking for that scary but thrilling adventure, where I can travel off to the land of the Wild Things, prove my mettle among them, and return home to a delayed, but still-warm supper.

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