Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Imagination and Inspiration #amwriting

the challenge
I is for Imagination and Inspiration.

Since I was a junior high school malcontent, I've been reading to escape my reality. Granted, I actually choose and like my life now, so I'm not escaping much. But I still love the adventure of a new reality. I still love to read.

It is the only way to get into another person's head so thoroughly. A movie can transport you to their world, or at least a first impression of that world. But only the written word can give you every sensation and its consequence in a way that feels truly vicarious. 

"New Gift Book of Nursery Rhymes"  Illustrations by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone.
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby)
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
   Sailed off in a wooden shoe---
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
   Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
   The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
   That live in this beautiful sea;
   Nets of silver and gold have we!"
                     Said Wynken,
                     And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
   As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
   Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
   That lived in that beautiful sea---
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish---
   Never afeard are we";
   So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
   To the stars in the twinkling foam---
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
   Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
   As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
   Of sailing that beautiful sea---
   But I shall name you the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
   And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
   Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
   Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
   As you rock in the misty sea,
   Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.

Imagination is what separates mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom. 

The stories we create are a connecting fabric like the nets of silver and gold in the poem, drawing us together across time and longitude. 

I LOVE imagination. Last night the hubz and I watched 'Til There Was You:

I love it because it's about two people who don't meet until the end, yet affect each other's lives in so many ways. It's about stories and how they intertwine. It's about a hopeless romantic who is obsessed with finding her "story," meaning the love story she'll tell her children one day, and a broken architect who eschews all things old and sentimental, and the relationships that prepare them to meet at last. 

One of the reviews on amazon says it best:

"I love movies that complete a circle, those are rare and this is one of those." -ILoveGadgets

Imagination is stirred by the simplest things: a poetic phrase, a lullaby, the wait at a red traffic light. 

Last night my husband inspired me without even knowing it. I sneaked downstairs past midnight to add a few thousand words to my WIP, Could Be Worse. 

The words just rolled off my fingers onto the keyboard, landing on the page like that's where they've wanted to be all along and they were only waiting for my fingers to obey my brain and write them.

Imagination can be intrusive, demanding a story be told or an image be created. But it can also be tender, healing, weaving poetry out of a broken heart, out of loss and into integrity.

It's less a master and more a companion, and yet we are happiest when we're letting it take the lead.

Where will yours lead you today?

Katrina's blog pic


  1. Imagination is so important! One of the girls in my directing class is directing a children's play right now called "Wind of a Thousand Tales." It's all about a little girl who has given up on stories and doesn't think imagination is worthwhile. The sad truth is that this is happening in real life - too many children are throwing away fairytales and children's books/TV shows because they want to be like their moms and dads and watch/read something that's "real" (I know a ton of kids who watch NCIS with their parents, which I not only think is sad but kind of inappropriate.)

    Another friend is doing her practicum drama teaching in an elementary school right now, and each class period she has to remind the children what imagination is, because they're always stuck on the fact that they're in a classroom and what they're doing isn't "real".

    When I am a parent one day, I am going to encourage imagination in my children as much as humanly possible (to the point that they'll probably get sick of it!) Imagination is so important not only to your childhood, but to your whole life.

    1. Sounds like a sweet play! I agree it is tragic fiction (and therefore imagination) is being neglected so much in childhood. I mean, yes, math and science trigger the imagination, but literature and the arts are on a whole other level. I'm particularly sad about what Common Core seems to mean for fiction as non-fiction is emphasized at its expense. *sigh* The Gates Foundation is behind Common Core, so naturally technology (STEM) is weighted differently (read: more important) from the arts.

      If parents like yourself make imagination a priority in their children's education, we'll be okay.


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