My niece in Texas, GIRL (Goddess in Real Life) Vanessa created her own Flat Stanley at school and sent him to me for an adventure. She explained to me that Flat Stanley, based on a book from Jeff Brown, is a paper doll who got flattened and sent out into the Universe through the mail to have adventures.
I am always a little stuck when I need to create. I wasn't sure how to be "original" and be "different". So, Flat Stanley sat by my bedside, waiting for me to relax and be myself and play. And play we did.
First, we played with my neighbor Tamara. She came over and we pulled out some instruments and Flat Stanley joined us as we created some beautiful harmonies. And then Flat Stanley expressed a desire to create in my kitchen and so he got to discover some vegetables he'd never heard of before.
And that in-spired me to take Flat Stanley to the beach. He loved the ocean and the sand. And then we weent to Josh's Organic Garden and saw all the beautiful bins of produce - reds, greens, oranges. And Flat Stanley whispered in my ear that he wanted to touch and feel. So, I put him in different bins so he could fill his senses and I photographed him amidst the rainbow of colors.
And so many women passing by seemed to know Flat Stanley. They whispered and giggled as I photographed: "Look, there's Flat Stanley." He seemed to have achieved a superstardom all of his own.
Is this a national trend, I wonder? Is it the concept of a doll? or being asked by a child to share an adventure? I went to my trusted friend, the Internet to research this phenomena.
I found the Flat Stanley project which has been going on for 10 years strong. And while Jeff Brown wrote a book that has had a beautiful ripple effect, it was a bunch of Grade 3 Teachers in London, Ontario who started the project of creating paper Flat Stanleys and having their students mail them to others and track Stanleys' whereabouts and learn to communicate with others through the power of the written word.
Kudos to the teachers who in-spire and shape the young minds of the children who will one day rule our world.