“Children are the ones that know exactly what’s going on in the world, you know. They ‘see’ more than adults, ‘believe’ in more, are honest, and will always, ‘always’ let you know where you stand.”
― Cecelia Ahern, If You Could See Me Now
Before I go into details about this week’s theme “In which famous novel would you want to be (temporarily) a character?”, I would like to add a sentence or two about an exhibition I went to see on Saturday – the traveling Anne Frank exhibition. Personally, I expected more from the exhibition, but it was, nonetheless, very interesting and in a way, very important for my daughter to learn about that part of her German background.
Two things I learned that I hadn’t known. First, that Anne’s father had actually survived and only died in 1980. Then this one:
Frank aspired to become a journalist, writing in her diary on Wednesday, 5 April 1944:
I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that’s what I want! I know I can write …, but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent …
I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!
When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?
— Anne Frank
It seems inappropriate to follow the above with a casual blog post, so I hope you forgive me the sudden “change of pace”. I will keep it short, indeed.
When I saw the theme of this week I had no hesitation – the character would I like to be is Ivan from the novel “If you could see me now”.
At the age of six, Luke claims to have a friend named Ivan whom Elizabeth cannot see. Though at first she is exasperated with this imaginary friend, she starts playing along with Luke when she learns that imaginary friends will only last about 3 months.
Though invisible to most, Ivan is real. Only Luke and Saoirse can see him, though he comes to realise that Elizabeth can feel his presence. Knowing that only people who are in real need of a friend are able to see him, he follows Elizabeth around. When, suddenly, she is able to see him, Ivan is delighted, but disappointed just as quickly when she thinks him to be the father of one of Luke’s friends. A friendship which soon turns into romance blossoms between the two.
Ivan comes from a place called “Ekam Eveileb” – a place I’d love to go and visit one day. “Make Believe”. It’s a story about love, dreams, hopes and invisible friends. Ivan teaches Elizabeth to live, love AND believe. She learns that the impossible can be possible as long as you believe.