I’ve never had an imaginary friend as a child. As a teenager, though, I did have imaginary enemies. I don’t want to talk about it, really. But I thought it would be a sort of a, you know, funny, maybe intriguing intro for this post, which I consider the most important one yet.
As Colin Mochrie once said, “you know, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had memories”. That’s another intro I considered. But I didn’t really like the idea of quoting someone in the first sentence. Also, more importantly, this post isn’t exactly about memories. Partially – maybe, if I led it into that direction, which is something I planned originally. But in the end, it would take too many forced analogies etc. Just problematic.
Welcome to my worlds. Now what could that mean? Any ideas? I mean, realistic ideas? For the sake of the argument I’ll assume you know my writing, so, you know me, can’t be too ambitious. But it’s important to me. It’s something I always wanted to ask other people about. I only asked one guy. His answer wasn’t exactly satisfactory. Or maybe I just didn’t like it? I can’t be sure.
Here’s what I want to ask you: how is your relationship with your imagination? How is it doing? You two close? You should be. You hang out often enough? What do you do together? Where does she take you?
Imagination. Isn’t she a beauty? A best friend you could ever have, but a cruel mistress still. You let her take the wheel once, and you can never truly get rid of her again. Not because you’re unable to. Because you wouldn’t want to.
J. K. Rowling wrote seven Harry Potter books, which were made into even more movies, and she still supplies the public with fresh wizardly material. George R. R. Martin keeps spawning characters across his multiple books, he can’t kill them fast enough, but he’s trying. Now Tolkien, he went over the top, didn’t he? Don’t worry, I’m not gonna compare myself to those three. What sort of person do you think I am? I will just ask you this: how many writers you know, that wrote just one fantasy book? Successful or not. How many screenwriters end their career after their first movie? How many, I don’t know, poets get burned out after trying the poetry once?
Imagination isn’t like a disease. On the contrary. It’s like a drug. You’re not so much addicted as you are dependent on it. Positively, of course. You don’t surrender, you thrive. You can get yourself lost in it, if you’re not skilled enough, not trained in sustaining your lives on an acceptable standard in both the real world, and the fantasies.
And as you get more and more experienced, which is not something you gather by simply trying, but by the real life circumstances and outside stimuli in the first place, you’ll learn to establish your creation as a fact. Not a material object of course, I’m not crazy. But something… reliable. Something constant. You start respecting your decisions too much to manipulate them every time you summon those creations of your mind, and you begin to view your fantasies as a part of you, that evolves by introducing new elements and detail.
You had an imaginary friend? I don’t suppose you remember where you met? Shame. I would be thrilled to met your imaginary friends. Because I can get to know you, learn almost everything there is to learn about you, except for what resides in your mind. Your imagination, your creations, innovations, ideas, all in their true, original form, which in our heads don’t appear as a set of words, but visions, emotions, where we can feel their nature, not just be aware of them. And because that creation is not something of this world, the real world, to me or any other person, they will always seem abstract, incomprehensible. At best, in my mind I will be able to recreate a shadow of your creation, but never its true concept.
You’ve read the “Philosopher’s Stone”? How different was your understanding of the description provided by the author from the understanding of the man who directed the movie? And only the original author, Ms. Rowling, knows how her original vision was twisted by the director.
Personally, I think it’s pretty scary. And definitely saddening. How much do you think gets “lost in translation” like that? Well, however much it can be, it’s still not as much as what is lost in the filter of our decision making process. All the things we discard, additions to the fantasies or entirely new fantasies we abandon, because of various reasons. Entire themes and plots we just decide to forget. Still not a big enough waste? How about the fact, and I mentioned it before, every thought, idea, story you decide not to share, dies with you? I talked about this when I was discussing memories and observations. Hence the Colin Mochrie intro idea. But now I want to consider the imagination. Such a force. Powered by the best biocomputer the universe, as far as we know it, has ever created. Supplied by the outer world, constantly bombarded with stimuli, those thinking machines are bound to create and create throughout our lives. And though as I explained earlier, we would never understand each other’s creations, it sure as hell doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I’m fairly happy with my understanding of Tolkien’s idea for Arda. And while I wish I had the opportunity to experience his visions as the emotions and forces like he did, a world without his works would definitely be a world less interesting.
I’m confident you had your own creations. If not worlds, then stories. If not stories, then something else. But you did go back there every now and then. And it did feel amazing.
Enough of this intro. It all comes down to this, and I believe I will never ever be able to write it in a better way:
The greatest joke the universe has ever made on our expense, was to first teach us to imagine, and then by making that imagination a thing greater than we could ever be, and as such impossible to precisely describe with its full power and meaning, forced us to keep many of our thoughts to ourselves, and be the only inhabitants of those inner dimensions we alone brought to life, never to share them with any other living soul. I’ve created marvellous worlds no one will ever see. I’ve met heroes and villains who will never find their place in the history. I’ve watched miracles happening, divine wonders. I’ve seen pure, uncanny beauty that none else will ever have the opportunity to appreciate. I’ve created my own, perfect universe, the beginning and end of which will never be perceived, doomed to fade away never noticed, and whose time in existence is bound with mine.
P.S. If you haven’t know this before, I’m sure now you understand just how difficult blogger I am to read. How my thoughts and contemplations aren’t exactly a work of a genius, not even an entertaining madman. But not sharing my thoughts has been slowly killing me. And even if you can’t detect this, assuming anyone ever finds my calmest waters, you wouldn’t believe how much has changed in my life already, after such a short time of writing, and only for the better. I just felt, I don’t know, somehow obligated to share that info, for some reason.