It’s very rare that I see something that stirs that special spot in my heart reserved for fond childhood memories, but it has been known to happen on occasion. As much as looking back on being a kid offers a mixed bag of whatever, there really is something magical about that place where imagination ran wild with unfettered gusto. To be a kid was to attempt the impossible on a daily basis, and much of that fire is missing as a guy in my late twenties that sits in a cubicle writing Web copy.

In the last week or so, I’ve hit two media examples that poked at those halcyon days of youth. The first happened while watching Fringe, J.J. Abrams’ love song to the X-Files. This might make a few people that read this blog feel old, but I remember the X-Files started when I was in fourth or fifth grade. It became a regular practice for a few friends of mine and I to get together on Friday nights and watch this great exploration of the unexplainable. It was scary, dramatic and had monsters – what more could a kid ask for? I didn’t really care about the will-they-or-won’t-they nature of Scully and Mulder junking up the screen so long as I got to see almost-alien creatures taking new victims each week.

Fringe hits that same pseudo-science sweet spot that I forgot I loved. Each episode, they tackle zanier and more unimaginable things, and don’t even blink in the face of crotchety old skeptics like myself. Sometimes I feel like watching or reading great stories stirs a creativity pot, and Fringe is no exception. It’s cheesy and unbelievable to be sure, but as Dr. Walter Bishop asks his son Pacey: When did you lose your imagination?

So that was example uno. Example deux occurred when I first saw the now-famous Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial in which a kid tries to use the force on every day objects. Every time I watch it, I get a bigger smile on my face.

Confession: every now and then I wave my hands in front of automatic doors to pretend like I’m opening them with the force. This ad speaks to that same well of imagination that we’re told dries up once we get out of college and hit the morning commute. It made me miss being a kid, because the world was a much bigger place where anything was possible. Sometimes I think that maybe it still is.

Tags: , , , ,