Monday, May 27, 2013

The Grand Designs of Imagination

     A rolling hill. Gently sloping upward, tall lilies paint the green canvas varying colors. Soft reds, ocean blues, and orangesicle are all present. The most wonderful looking sky blinks down on a single oak tree at the topside of the hill. The earth is undisturbed, an affirmation of her natural beauty. The tree, standing at ease, takes in the soothing landscape. Home. The old tree releases the tension from its appendages and proceeds to conduct the most powerful orchestra on the planet. Leaves, keeping time for the squirrels that pitter patter up the arms of the tree while the whoosh of the wind through the lilies hums the melody.

     A young boy who couldn't be anymore than six or seven years old lies awake one night in his hospital bed. He sets up for a moment and thinks about the scene that he's painted in his head. Should anyone have been in the room with him at the time they would surely have noticed how he was feeling by drawing their attention to the gentle warmth in his eyes. Lights flicker on machines that connect the boy to science. Motor sounds and oxygen flow permeate the room. It's bed time in the children's wing, and in one particular room there's one little boy going to sleep with a smile on his face. 

A New Look at Life...

     The imagination is such a beautiful quality in a person that Henry David Thoreau once regarded it as "our truest life." If our eyes are the windows to our soul, then our imagination is our individually unique perspective of life. It allows us to express ourselves in ways that we could never dream of through normal conversation. Imagination is simply the gatekeeper for other worlds. An imagination comes up with the right words to put together to form the perfect song to sing to your sweetheart. Imagination convinces you to do something new, it encourages courageous acts like those of David versus the giant Goliath. Imagination equals possibility. And because there is no biases or prejudices when it comes to the imagined, everything is a possibility. 
"Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Ben Franklin to discover electricity."
                                                      - L. Frank Baum
     Great ideas aren't born from adhering to logic and strict rules. It's all about the "what if's," and then the imagination takes all those "what if's" and sends them soaring through blue skies where they will eventually settle up in orbit for a while.

     But where there's all this room for your imagination to run around and have fun on the 'playground', there's also another kid out there, the bully. Fear. Imagination is a delicate thing, it's fragile in the sense that it needs to be handled with care, because once it's been abused it can up and leave - just like that (finger snap). Our hearts want us so much to be confident in ourselves but our brains will quickly act against us should the right catalyst come around and push us in the right way. It's fact that if your imagination is attacked it will recede into the private quarters of the brain, and that's a sad day. I'm reminded of a great quote from Stephen King in his book 11/22/63, "Artistic talent is far more common than the talent to nurture artistic talent."

     We must do all that we can to avoid the disastrous fate of losing our imagination. So many great people have lost the ability to think outside the box and challenge themselves in new, and exciting ways because somebody told them it was wrong. As Monte Wildhorn delicately puts it, "Don't stop looking for what's not there." See the world differently, and the sky is just the beginning...


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