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Twenty Something - on the power of imagination


Crystal J. Stranaghan

I've been thinking a lot recently about the power of imagination, and the decline of our belief in that power as we age.

I was on the ferry over to the island a couple months ago when I overheard a little girl telling her mom about what she could see out the window of the ferry. Mermaids, she said...and when mom asked “how many” she proceeded to count them. We were waiting to get off the boat, so there was a large crowd gathered around and the reactions to this activity -counting the mermaids that is- was varied.

Some people just smiled indulgently. Cute kid, vivid harm done. A few others got a twinkle in their eye that said they wished they remembered when they could see mermaids. One or two others looked like they were barely able to bite their tongues and refrain from telling her that mermaids aren't real, and even if they were they certainly wouldn't choose the icy cold waters of Georgia Strait in October as a fun place to hang out.

I wanted to know what they looked like. But she was so busy counting them that I didn't like to interrupt her to ask. I should have.

Because I'm still wondering about what exactly she saw....and the only way to know that would have been to ask her. And then they really would have been real.

I've been thinking over how powerful it is to share ideas with people and that it is only in the sharing – the successful communication of an idea between two people- that we are able to actually remove something from the mental realm and drag it kicking and screaming into physical form.

Is this not what we do every day? As each day starts off, nothing yet exists in that day...and so we create it as we go along. We take our thoughts, plans, ideas about what will happen during that day and then make them a reality (or perhaps even more often discard them).

But, when we communicate our intentions to someone else – make an appointment, write a “to do” list, make a date, or tell someone about our plans – it makes it more real, and that activity is far more likely to actually move from an idea to a “real” event that takes place.

I would then argue that the only thing that limits what we can do with our days is our imagination and our willingness to discard our belief in what is, or is not, possible.

I wonder what you could do with your day if you gave your imagination free reign – and then had the courage to tell someone else what you saw? Where could a life composed of days like that take you? I suppose more importantly, where couldn't it?

© 2006 by Crystal J. Stranaghan

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