“Imagination is the key to the future. Without it none exists. With it all things are possible.”
The words of Ida Tarbell summarise the October instalment of National Journal Writing Month which set out with the aim of “Unleashing Your Creative Mind Through Journal Writing”.
As the month approaches its end and I am entering a reflective / contemplative state, I can see that all my writings and responses to the daily journalling prompts were flexing and feeling out the boundaries of my ability to express myself, to create something out of an idea, a thought, a fleeting feeling, a dusty memory. And all along, imagination played its crucial role.
After all, I would not have signed up to NaJoWriMo if I didn’t imagine it would be beneficial, fun, interesting, challenging, worthwhile. I could not have written thirty different posts if not by letting my imagination take over and give way to my creativity to soar (okay, sometimes more like stretch its muscles, but still).
Imagination is an integral part of the human condition. Having a vivid fantasy is the basis of all invention, all developments – the realisation of an idea that something could be done differently, something could be better, so let’s do it. And hopefully, one day, someone very clever will imagine the best possible way we could live as a society, and perhaps make it come true. Until then, I remain an avid reader and re-reader of Westerfeld’s Uglies to remind myself where we might be headed, how there still might be some hope if only we aren’t scared or brainwashed too much to pursue it, and to celebrate creativity and the brilliant expression of an overly imaginative mind (that of the author, not me).
Additionally, imagination serves as an escape mechanism for us mere mortals who try to wade through all our daily miseries and aches, all the heartbreak and the missed promotion, the lack of sanitation and Ebola wrecking havoc. Imagination helps us escape our mundane lives, to create a new world in our own heads that is our perfect utopia, a world where things go our way, and sometimes, these fantasies turn into visions and goals and achievements and change. Imagination can keep us going when we feel like the shipwrecked Pi, trapped with a tiger on our small boat in the middle of the ocean, when hope is scarce and the odds are hardly ever in our favour.
Celebrating imagination, fantasy, creativity and self expression, I think that’s what I learned this month, and that’s what I would like to keep as the most important memory from these past weeks of self discovery.