Thursday, August 23, 2012

RRT: Imagining an Imagination

Remember when you were little, and you could picture any and everything. A flying squirrel? No problem! A castle made out of candy? Easy Peasy! An Entire audience full of non-identical people who would scream your name as you amazingly belt out the words to your favorite tune? Done!

My imagination used to be wild. I was an only child for 9 years so I learned early how to keep myself busy. I could come up with immaculate stories and design everything in my head down to the smallest detail. I would have whole deep conversations with my Barbies as I took them through the house. Remember the boy from the movie Toy Story? He had those movie style play sessions with his toys. I remember a few of my friends saying how they could never remember a time when they played that hard with their toys. Well I do remember! I was exactly like him. I never bothered my parents, (actually they often had to check on me to make sure I was awake because I was so nonexistent) and could sit by myself for hours on end playing and doing things with my imagination.

Remember Barney. "With Imagination and the Barney bag, we'll see what we can make today. Yeah! We'll see what we can make today" That was me! I could imagine Barney in my room, a full size dinosaur playing and making arts and crafts. I didn't have any imaginary friends that I took around with me or anything, I knew they weren't real and I didn't make them anything else. But I still imagined they were there when I was alone.

I notice now though, that my imagination is starting to deflate. I was listening to the Leviathan audiobook (the review will probably be posted in a few weeks) and the author came up with excessive amounts of machines and animals and other stuff. I found myself completely lost. Without the pictures accompanying the actual hard copy book, I found I could not picture any of those items. I mean, obviously the author knew it would be a bit difficult to imagine some of the stuff since he decided to include the pictures in the first place, but still. I should have at least been able to picture something. But no. My mind, when the text referenced these animals and machines, put in their place a silhouette...much like the one you get on facebook before you upload a profile picture (question mark included) except they were machine silhouettes or animal silhouettes.  Its quite frustrating.

Granted, I know my imagination is still there. I can still imagine the way full conversations will go n my head, or have full on imaginative day dreams. I can still dive fully and completely into a book to the point that I can imagine I'm in there too, but sometimes I just cant picture some of the stuff. It's almost like trying to remember a dream after I've woken up. Some of it's there, but I cant imagine the way it all fits together, or remember the little details. I'm worrying I may be losing my imagination. Is such a thing even possible?

Maybe grown ups aren't allowed to have imaginations like kids, or maybe I'm overreacting, Regardless, I want my imagination back, but how? Do you just slowly but surely build it back up the way you do muscles that have disappeared or do you just tally the loss and hold on tight to what you have left.

I need tips folks. Tell me you feel the same way at times. Tell me I'm an idiot who's over thinking this. Tell me something!


Lan said...

I feel exactly the same way! You're not strange at all. Imaginations are funny things. I think there is just enough space for imagination and practicality in out brains and as we get older the practical bit gets bigger and bigger because we have to start learning stuff at school and at work and we have to become adults. So the imagination gets smaller because we don't use it very often. I used to read fantasy books all the time but now I find myself moving away from them because it requires too much imaginary investment to get involved. Which is kind of sad. I do the whole silhouette thing as well. Most of the time I have more silhouettes than anything else. The key to regaining an imagination is frequent use. I find this a lot in my writing. When I'm busy doing other things I sometimes get a flash of inspiration but everything else is a blur. Once start to think more about it, it becomes easier to imagine all the little details. Leviathan is an incredibly imaginative book, but even I had a hard time suspending belief at some of the stuff!

Sherre said...

Thanks for that. I'm glad I wasnt alone in this. I guess you're right. I'd prefer to be a bit more practical instead of young and naiive.

Anonymous said...

This is a very insightful question, because I too find myself feeling like my imagination is slipping away from me. I already knew I wasn't alone, but didn't think I would find you to be in the same company. The more I learn about, the Beckoned One (lol)the more suprised I become. In a good way of course.

As far as why this is happening and what to do about it,I think that you hit it right on the head. It comes down to our culture and society. Pretty much our lives are cut up into sections and sadly it's such a way that our pleasures don't often meet up with the business we have to carry out on a day-to-day basis. And since business is so time consuming we have less time for these pleasurable occurances, and eventually end up here. Feeling kind of trapped in a life that's often boring and repetative, and needing more. I think the best way to solve the mystery of your disapearing imagination is to do more things that let you express that imagination. The more you use something the stronger it becomes so in a way it is like a muscle. However, reading and watching movies won't be enough. You have always done those things, and like any muscle if you don't switch it up and try some new things it will just get use to the routine. Once that happens the "exercise" won't be as effective anymore, and you become stagnant.

So my advice to you would be to try some new ways to express/explore your creative side, using your imagination. Go see a play,write your own prose, or write a screen play, or visit a museum, try some new things and do something you always wanted to do, or even revist something you might use to love to do but haven't in a while. This might help you reignite your imagination by giving you new experiences, and new experiences always lead to even new ones giving you something to think about or wonder, and add some more excitment to yourlife, hopefully.

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