The Import of Growing Our Imagination

Our imagination is what we feed it.

Tucked somewhere in the genesis of that word is imago, Latin for an image, a likeness. What we can imagine is influenced by the images, the possibilities we see around us.

You and I probably see a similar universe of things: traffic jams at 5pm and toothpaste in bathrooms, steam curling off morning coffee and moonlight on a clear night. And much of that is common and expected; it’s easy to feed our imagination a steady diet of ordinary.

But the high level imagining comes with exposure to the uncommon. Not of the flying toasters and grasshoppers that talk variety, but the regular uncommon that romps quietly all around us.

Seagulls that squawk and caw miles from the ocean. Musty old books that bend language in ways unfamiliar to our modern vernacular. Brassy music that never topped any charts and pulls our ears, our limbs in ecstatic directions.

The uncommon is everywhere, but we must decide to bring it into our life. It is a decision, to paraphrase writer Grace Paley, to step out of the thick, slow moving mainstream and into the fresh vitality of the less explored tributaries.

This is not only about building creative muscle. What we can imagine shapes what kind of a life we believe we can have and what kind of a world we believe is possible. The parameters of my imagination influence you and vice versa.

We each author a piece of the future. Why not feed our imaginations a steady diet of uncommon and make the time to come as uncommonly good as possible.

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