First of all, I have to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to all of my new subscribers. I’m also sorry, I haven’t written anything for a while and this blog has been a little quiet. I have wracked my brains and tried to think of something I could get down on… screen (!) but nothing has come to mind that didn’t inspire the immediate response “that’s stupid, Zahabiya, no one wants to read that and you shouldn’t want to write it” from that well-dressed but generally over-serious character who lives in the corner of my mind.
But today, something came to me and I wanted to write about this one. It’s about the value of imagination. I’m really not sure if this is going to be any more worth reading than any of the other ideas I have dismissed of late, but the well-dressed young lady’s look of derision has had to be ignored this time.
I, for a long time, have felt like I don’t have enough of an imagination. It is difficult for me to formulate fantastical realms and visualise that which is not and perhaps cannot be, real. However I have come to learn that imagination is so much more than that and I think that it’s a little like what someone once said to me about singing. Everyone can do it, it’s just about learning how. I’m not trying to say that there isn’t a natural talent here; C. S. Lewis was a genius. So is (in my humble opinion) Adele. However, what we have to realise is that telling a story which speaks about the observations you have made of the world in which you live, can and will utilise your imagination. Perceiving a reality, engaging your emotional and intellectual faculties to assess limits and dynamics within that reality will make a fantastic base, but a story, a story that might just speak to someone, might one day make someone see the way you see and feel what you feel, connect with you, a story that might just awaken someone, anyone, to the beauty, anger, pain, perfection, possibility, injustice, around them, a story like that can only be written if you imbue your words with everything you have. For that, you need an imagination.
Of course, you need a whole array of things, including hope, determination and creativity, not least of which will also be a dictionary and the ability to throw one hell of a hissy-fit when the words have actually stopped belonging to your chosen language and you’ve literally lost the plot. But you’ll also need imagination, or so I believe, because otherwise, those moments when your imbuing your words with the meaning you so desperately hope to convey will be lost amongst an abstract narrative because you haven’t grounded your story. This is the amazing thing about imagination – it provides the reality. Whether it be a fictional place, a possible and relatable tale of events or actual history given a believable twist, imagination is what you need to be able to give your story a canvas on which to paint your message, it’s the language in which you will tell the world what you hope to say. About them, about you, about us.
This is just story-telling. But painting a picture. Designing an item of clothing. Making a film. Anything where you’re trying to relay a message. We always need a way to make ourselves heard. And we always need imagination for that. The trick, for me, was realising I’ve got it.