Do you remember back to childhood how you could imagine just about anything? Depending on your age, you may have grown up in a time before all the tech that exists now. As children, we depended heavily on our imaginations when we played. Whether it was “cowboys and Indians” (we knew nothing of being politically correct) or playing “house” or whatever we fancied, no matter that we didn’t have the costumes or items to make it more real…we had our imaginations and that’s all we needed. We could be anything, pretend to be anywhere, there were no limits.
Has anything in your life ever given you pause to wonder where that imagination went? It has for me. Let me try to explain.
As an adult, I became one helluva researcher when it came to finding the answer to a question that was plaguing me. I could, and still can, turn that information into an article, workshop, class or even a book – should I so desire. I’m not limited to the facts as they exist. My mind is open to considering what might be possible, even if it seems highly improbable. I thoroughly enjoy theorizing and philosophizing, even if it’s in my own head.
Here’s what I term “the problem”: I have a difficult time writing fiction. I don’t know if it’s that I’ve been writing “fact” for so long that my left brain constantly barges in, taking over, or if, somewhere along the way, I’ve lost that amazing imagination I had as a child.
This is obviously not something you can really “think” your way through. It would seem to be more in the realms of “feeling”. I know many would say it’s not important to seek the cause of what appears to have happened and, for the most part, I would agree. Then there are times when curiosity gets the best of you and you really want to know, “What the hell happened?”
Just after we moved into our haunted house, in 1993, I got a strong urge to write a story based on the history of the house and the one family who lived here for over 80 years. The idea was instigated by a doorway that had been cemented shut between the living room and a hallway. From a fiction standpoint, that doorway was to represent a “portal” not only between worlds, but in time as well. With almost no idea where to start, I decided to take a novel writing course to get my bearings.
The course went well and by the time I reached its end, I had the first three chapters of this novel written. That was in 1999. The novel remains uncompleted, although I have managed over the years to get to Chapter 9. It’s been a real struggle.
Now a new idea has entered my head for another novel. (What???) The concept for this one is also based in some fact but will definitely be fiction…science fiction. Although I’ve floated the idea to a writer friend, who thinks it’s a really good idea, I find myself once more struggling to write what might very well be an excellent story to share with the world.
It’s caused me to take a look at my mental, emotional, psychological makeup to see if there’s something truly blocking this adventure into creativity and imagination. I must admit that I’m not making much progress here as well and I believe it may be because whatever is at the bottom of this has a LOT of emotion/memories attached to it that I may be unwilling to face.
While I’m trying to figure this out, here are a couple of questions that have occurred to me that may be of help to you if you find yourself wondering where you’ve packed away your imagination: Have the responsibilities of adulthood taken away my ability to dream and fantasize? (Still working on how that feels to me.) Have I had so many dreams fail to come true that I’ve developed a “Why even bother?” attitude, even if only on an unconscious level? (This one has possibilities for being true. If that’s the case…I’ve become a cynic. OMG! This just won’t do! I’m a firm believer in the Law of Attraction. That’s certainly a vibration that I don’t want in my aura!!!) Then, for me, there’s still the possibility that it’s just a matter of spending so much time in “reality” that I’ve forgotten how to get to Wonderland or any of the other marvelous places I used to go with my imagination. Of course, going to all those wonderful places also calls for child-like awe and a great deal of joy. So if you may have forgotten how to do either of those things, now would be a good time to start practicing again. Joy, especially, is something you just can never have enough of!
Perhaps the time has come to follow Alice down the rabbit hole, be open to an extraordinary adventure and even seek out the Caterpillar. “Who are you ?” he will ask. Ah, that answer could hold the key that reopens the door to where my imagination has been stored for far too long!