Dear Banksy, I’ve Got Your Shadow

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Dear Banksy,

My daughter’s taken to tagging. In sidewalk chalk but still. She gets it.

Tagging’s not quite right here. No stylized name in block letters for my girl, and no hearts dotting her i’s either. Like J. M. Barrie, Maia knows that “to live will be an awfully big adventure,” so her mark is a message: beware world. She’s here and she’s ready for the adventure. And you should be wary, because she’s not.

Like I’ve given her Barrie’s Peter Pan, I’ve introduced her to your art. Now, like Wendy watches for Peter at her window, Maia waits for you to knock on hers and invite her to fly out over a larger landscape.

Like Wendy, we tell stories about you. And like all good stories, you are, for my daughter, magical. You’re Peter Pan and you’re Robin Hood, too, stealing spaces in the public eye if not ownership, and returning them to the public. Of course one day, the pixie dust will disappear from my daughter’s dreams, along with some of the faith and trust. Because the magic fades when we grow up. But as Barrie writes, “You need not be sorry for her. She was one of the kind that likes to grow up. In the end she grew up of her own free will a day quicker than the other girls.”

Right now, though, Maia believes that if only we ask you might appear, paints in hand, ready to leave a message for the world with her. So here’s our invite: if you’re ever in the neighborhood, please stop by? I’ve got your shadow.

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