week 34: imagination

when i was younger, i was obsessed with star wars. i was born in the late seventies and most of the kids i grew up with were, the boys anyway. it was the game of choice on the playground, and everyone wanted to be luke, it wasnt until later that i realized that han was a better, cooler choice, when i came to that conclousion choosing what role i would play became far less contested. i can remember, even when i was on my own, how everything related in some way to that "universe", the day dreams and fantasies i had, all relvolved around those movies. we didnt really have video games, and television was limited to four or five channels, we spent a lot of time outside, and aside from action figures that barely resembled the charactes they were supposed to be, improvision was the mainstay of our daily routine... boys that age can make a gun out of pretty much anything.

that imagination, so vivid, so fertile was a double edged sword, for all the joy it brought, it carried with it a darker side. monsters in the closet, under the bed, scary movies became reality, i still dont like sleeping in the same room as a television, a throwback to watching poltergiest when i was way too young.

this duality, left unchecked, seems to cause problems as we become adults. my imagination , for example, tends to dance on the edge of disaster. while this has its benifits, such as keeping me from making some of the more foolish or dangerous decisions ive been faced with, it has also served to render me immobile in many cases.

relationships that i ended for fear of what might happen, having children, not pursuing occupational avenues for fear of failure, never learning to ride a skateboard, the list goes on.

that said ive been trying to have a more positive outlook on life and embracing the more positive aspects of that creativity. its a slow and difficult process to teach your brain to think differently, but so far, the small results ive had are promising and worthwhile.

still there are moments that i find myself slipping into my old waysof thinking and the spectre of my fears rears its head and it is not without more than a little effort that i have to face and move past these self defeating thoughts.

imagination, temepeed by empathy and morality, reinforced with faith and fueled with open-minded possibility and wonder is among the greatest of our gifts as human beings. it is that same potential, fed by greed, fear and selfishness that has been responsible some of the darkes chapters in recorded history and in our personal lives.

funny how those gifts work.

i know it sounds all doom and gloom, but it isnt, its actually rather hopeful as far as i am concerned. still, dealing with these thoughts can often put me in dark places and its important for me to remember that while it may seem like the end of the world, it isnt, it only feels that way sometimes and that all not wonder is endless.

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