This July was our seventh year of hosting Find Waldo Local here in Farmington, Maine. Personally, I enjoy the interplay of constants and variables. I love taking the same local hikes in different seasons year after year. Was there something different about searching for Waldo in 2018, I wondered?
If anyone has ever been surrounded by others in profusion it is Waldo. He is always in company. Yet he has been keeping a different sort of company this year because people are searching for more things more earnestly than usual. With the very nature of reality and history under strain, perhaps searching for Waldo has a special role right now? After all, looking for something which you are certain is really there might be a source of satisfaction, a respite for those whose quests are undertaken against a backdrop of anxiety and uncertainty. Perhaps even Viktor Frankl, had he been alive and summering in Farmington, would have searched for Waldo here this summer, and concluded that this simple, attainable, community-oriented search helped him find meaning in the more opaque world we share.
Bearing in mind this theme of the passage of time set against the backdrop of fixity I decided to add a new challenge to our annual Waldo Prize Party. I asked the participants to draw a picture of Waldo when he was a boy. How would a child depict a figure who never changes in an earlier state?
We’ll start with a few photos of the kids at work drawing during the party.
Some local flavor. A young Waldo on Bald Mountain in Weld.