"I found the man of my dreams but I'm not sure how he felt about being found."
While walking around the shore of Lake Rotoiti (Nelson Lakes, South Island of Aotearoa) I found 'Lego Man' and the following conversation ensued:
Tanya: Lego Man? What are you doing here?
Lego Man: I escaped!
Lego Man: Yep, I'm no longer part of the set. I'm 'lone lego'. In fact I have a new name - Lego - less.
Tanya: Are you from that Lord of the Rings Lego set?
Lego Man: Im not from any set anymore. I'm sick of being a toy. I want to be real.
Tanya: Like Pinocchio?
Lego Man: Who?
Tanya: It doesn't matter - you just reminded me of another story. You know I loved Lego as a child.
Lego Man: Lego isn't what it used to be. Things changed. In the past, even with all its sharp edges and right angles, people used to free form with it. Now everything is so prescriptive. You buy the rocket set, the hairdressing salon set, the Monsanto farming set, the G8 summit entourage with free protesters - there's even a lego world. I tell you, it all just encourages mindless consumerism.
Tanya: Wow, I had no idea that lego could be so profound. My brother and I just fought over the windows and wheels.
Lego Man: Its all just plastic crap! I want to know what life is like beyond the base board. I want to connect in different ways.
( A serene silence as we both look out across the lake. I sneak a sideways look at Lego Mans emotionless yellow face - it's some how 'beyond the box'.)
Tanya: You look different.
Lego Man: I'm Eco - Lego.
Tanya: Ah....I like the stubble.
Lego Man: It's painted on.
Tanya: It goes with 'the look'.
Lego Man: It's more than a look. It's a statement - a new way of life. I have a dream...one day other lego men and women will rise from the confines of their instruction sheet and defy the demands of the set. They, like me, will crave a new connection and moves beyond 'right angles' and into curves and spirals, knowing that they too can be part of a better world - making that change one block at a time.
* I was left somewhat speechless after this exchange. I took a few photos photos knowing I'd never be able to look at lego in the same way again. I have to confess to 'taking him home' but was plagued by the thought, " How could I keep a man who'd gone to such lengths to be free?" The next morning I took him back to the lake and left him to connect with nature.