Rest with The Wild Things Maurice Sendak

This morning I’m struggling with the news that Maurice Sendak has just died.  There is an obituary in The New York Times and I’m sitting here crying and thinking about the impact his words and pictures and the impact they have had on my work, the way I approach writing and the stories that I need and want to tell even when it’s dark or complicated. There is an incredible video of him  speaking about his work that I’ve posted before that I want to share again along with my favorite quote from it that was instrumental to me as I was finishing the writing of Roving Pack. I believe that if we’re not taking risks with our art, if it’s not edge play than there’s really not much point in doing it, and Maurice Sendak put that sentiment so brilliantly when he said:

Artists have to take a dive. And either you hit your head on a rock and you split your head and die or the blow to the head is so inspiring that you come back up and do the best work you ever did. But you have to take the dive. And you do not know what the result will be.”

– Maurice Sendak

One of the other ways Maurice Sendak’s work has truly influenced my life is also in the way I approach joy and pleasure and living in the moment. Our youngest dog is very much a little Wild Thing – just two weeks ago I had her tattooed onto my shin with her face attached to the body of a Wild Thing…. she is full of Rumpus and takes pleasure in each and every joyful moment in life inspiring/reminding – and I always think of this wonderful Sendak quote/story

“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”
― Maurice Sendak

“He saw it, he loved it, he ate it….. ‘ hard to find better words to live by when it comes to enjoying and living in the moment even really sad moments like right now