We have interesting conversations in our house from time to time, mostly because Eustacia thinks about interesting things. Not long ago, she asked if mermaids eat fish. While she and I discussed the notion, and I said that if humans, being mammals, eat other mammals, then it seems fitting that mermaids would eat fish. The subject seemed reasonable to us until Husband said quite plainly, "Mermaids don't exist." Bubble popped.
Now, with No. 1 home for a few weeks, bringing with her a different perspective, we can completely exhaust the subject of whether or not mermaids eat fish and whether or not they exist. No. 1 introduced the philosophical idea that if an object doesn't exist, any statement about it can be true. Santa Claus is bald, for example, can be true because he doesn't exist. To that, I asked how do we know if he's bald or not because no one has ever seen Santa without a hat? Eustacia agreed, but Husband and No. 1 think we're nuts.
Back to the mermaid question, while we all agree they do not exist, we do not agree on how we view the world. You can see it as black and white and decided they do not exist plain and simple. You can decide they do not exist but believe in the possibility they could. And you can prefer a world where they can exist and then live slightly above reality so that discussing whether or not they eat fish does not seem a waste of time or mental energy.
I fall into that last category, and I think Eustacia joins me there. There are no mermaids in our world, but is there harm in wishing there were and seeing this world as a place where fantastical things can be true on certain planes of thought? A person who wishes to believe in mermaids can easily accept Santa Claus with or without hair. She can believe in garden fairies, too, and malevolent trolls under the bridge, and tiny mice who makes shoes while everyone else is sleeping.
I like that kind of a world, and that's where I prefer to live. Where do you want to live, and do you think mermaids eat fish?