這樣說來，似乎這裡頭談及的「不可思議」是一項很微妙的關鍵。頭一趟在Woodchuck創辦人Tinta Luhrman的Instagram上看見Sophia Smeekens製作的布偶，我的腦袋便也有不停閃著「不可思議」訊號的狀況。Tinta平常跟女兒一起玩時，二人常也利用Sophia的布偶再加上乾花、樹枝、天然染布又或是積木等搭建各種場景。這些奇幻畫面教我想起河合隼雄也曾說： 「每個小孩心裡都存在著一個宇宙。」小孩玩布偶，大概就是要把藏在內心的那個不可思議宇宙演繹出來。現在蔦悠剛滿兩歲，我便送了這雙Sophia的布偶給他，期許有一天，布偶們會為我上演《蔦悠的奇妙宇宙》。
“A child’s pure vision makes it easier to see the authenticity of the soul than that from an adult’s turbid eyes.” – Hayao Kawai
It is said that a child’s view of dolls is very different from that of an adult. No matter how much the adults love their dolls, they would still see them as merely objects, but children would believe they are living beings. Having been curious about this point of view, once I have given birth to Julian, it seems a good opportunity to try some experiments. For example, I have always deliberately put some dolls by Julian’s side when he goes to sleep. One early morning, I found my two-month-old boy smiling to the dolls and started talking to them. At that moment, the atmosphere of the entire room suddenly became wonderful. I guess you could say that there was a kind of “incredible” feeling floating in the air. Afterwards, when Julian was a bit older, I started moving various dolls in front of him and talking in a low, squeaky voice, making him believe that the dolls could walk and talk. Never once did I fail to see him smiling brightly, his eyes shining with an “incredible” delight. These experiments have proven that my little boy indeed believes that dolls are living beings with souls.
The notable Japanese psychologist Hayao Kawai once said that he believes children’s literature is suitable for discussing the topic of soul, since the adults’ minds are easily tied up by “common sense”, which makes their world too much taken for granted; they could not look at things with curious and varying perspectives, therefore they could not easily see the existence of soul. As for children, since the world is completely unfamiliar to them, it is therefore full of “incredible” phenomena; only they can look at things with fresh eyes, and candidly gaze at “the reality of soul”.
In this case, it seems the word “incredible” is a very crucial element. The first time when I looked at the Instagram photos of Tinta Luhrman, the owner of Woodchuck, and discovered the dolls made by Sophia Smeekens, an “incredible” feeling kept flashing in my mind. When Tinta plays with her daughter, they enjoy using dried flowers, twigs, natural dyed cloths, wooden blocks and Sophia’s dolls to create various play scenes. Such fantastic pictures reminded me of what Hayao Kawai once said, “Every child has a universe in his/her heart.” When a child plays with a doll, he/she probably is trying to enact that incredible hidden universe. Now that Julian has just turned two years old, I decided to give him this pair of Sophia’s dolls, hoping one day they would perform for me this very special play, The Fantastic Universe of Julian.