Can You Even Imagine?
Imagination is a wonderful thing. There is something about it. Everyone has their own “imagination,” yet the phrase “Can you even imagine?” is a widely used cliché. I wondered about this for a while, and I realized why this phrase is a cliché. Because crazy good things happen to lots of people! Because crazy weird things happen to lots of people! And, unfortunately, because crazy bad things happen to lots of people. Because there is always something that one person finds unthinkable, even though someone else cannot imagine not thinking about it. It is my belief that thought is often confused with imagination. As in, someone may think that an event is unthinkable but call it unimaginable.
Let me jump off a cliff and explain my idea to you, the reader, by starting with some definitions.
- to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc.
- to employ one’s mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation: Think carefully before you begin.
- to have certain things as the subject of one’s thoughts: I was thinking about you. We could think of nothing else.
- to call something to one’s conscious mind: I couldn’t think of his phone number.
- to consider something as a possible actions, choice, etc.: She thought about cutting her hair.
- to form a mental image of (something not actually present to the senses).
- to think, believe, or fancy: He imagined the house was haunted.
- to assume; suppose: I imagine they’ll be here soon.
- to conjecture; guess: I cannot imagine what you mean.
- Archaic . to plan, scheme, or plot.
They are similar words, and occasionally one might be able to use “imagined” interchangably with “thought” because in this instance they are surely the same. They are both “assumptions” about something. But, for most general purposes the definition of “think” doesn’t leave the world of the reasonable and rational, whereas “imagine” takes it that much further and allows for creativity to happen.
The definition of creativity is this: “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts. “
If you read through that definition, and then allow yourself to read over the 5 definitions of “think” again, I believe you will find what I have found– which ultimately brings me back to “Can you even imagine?”
I believe in this instance that what we’re really asking is “Can you even think this?” or “Can you even rationlize this based on experiences?”
On May 17th, 2012 I experienced something that was at the time “unthinkable” for me. Sure, I’d imagine what it might be like, but I could not really “reason, or remember experiences.” I was at an art show, and I had three pieces displayed in this exhibition. It was the “official reception” and there was a lot going on, people milling in and out, caterers hastily replacing chicken salad sandwiches, and wine glasses clinking. Before the opening began, while they were still setting up, I happened to see a woman I knew in the gallery. Excitedly I made my way over to ask what she was doing there, and she said that she was working.
She then asked me what I was doing, and I let her know that I had three pieces being exhibited. She kindly asked me to show her my pieces, and I obliged. Moments later, I was saying “This is my collage,” when another woman made an expression I cannot describe and exclaimed my name. I nodded and said, “Yes.” Once it was decided that I was, “The Heather” she went on to tell me how someone had been showing her my works for quite some time now, and that she had been waiting to meet me. She had been waiting to meet me. ME. I was in a state of disbelief. She said it was a pleasure, I said “You think you’re happy right now,” and we all laughed.
This is the sort of moment where people say, “Can you even imagine?” and I honestly hope for your sake the answer is “Yes.” It is another one of my beliefs that your imagination can manifest itself into becoming reality. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it!
Entry filed under: A Day in the Life, Art, Community, Food For Thought, Serendipity. Tags: art, change, community, dreams, education, expression, Faith, friendship, girl, goals, happiness, honesty, inspiration, joy, life, love, self-esteem, support.