Imitating Imagination


“Don’t play what’s there.  Play what’s not there.” Miles Davis (from The Painter’s Keys)


Definitions and claimants to the dominion of imagination abound.  Everybody wants to claim imagination.  Has the word lost its meaning?  Who really understands what imagination is all about?  Everywhere you turn someone or something is called “Imagination” from cruise ships to engine companies to everything in-between. If everyone is claiming to be imagination this and imagination that, what has become of the real thing?

The definition from Merriam-Webster for imagination is: “the ability to imagine things not real; the ability to form a picture in your mind of something you have not seen or experienced; the ability to think of new things; something that only exists or happens in your mind.” It seems difficult to put that definition on a cruise ship or an engine company.  Overuse dilutes the intensity of the imagination into something rather tepid, almost boring.  With so many out there hanging the imagination name-tag out, how can real imagination be heard of felt?

All that imagination chatter becomes deafening and stifles the real thing. The imagination bird must be set free from within. That bird has to be able to fly above the chattering crowd, to soar high above it all.  Real imagination is new and different, definitely not part of the crowd.  Real imagination blooms in a dry desert.  It sails on a windless sea.  It belongs to the realm of things not real, not seen before, never experienced. It soars through the places only seen in the mind.  Real imagination belongs to those with the courage to set it free. Real imagination has no name-tag because it has no name.  Everything else is just imitation.




Author: MaryGwyn

Artist-Art Educator-Art in Healthcare

6 thoughts on “Imitating Imagination”

  1. You know, I would say that I’ve always had a vivid imagination, M-G … But I find it totally impossible to write fiction. I simply cannot come up with any subject matter.
    What does this say of me ?! :-]

    1. That you aren’t a fiction writer! Doesn’t all writing require an imagination?? I think the same kind of thing could be said of realist painters. In a sense, they are similar to non-fiction writers. There is plenty of imagination there or everybody would be a realist painter or a non-fiction writer. You have to have a vivid imagination to conceive the work, fiction or non-fiction, realist or not. At least that’s the way I see it. Just a different kind of imagination for different kinds of work. I hadn’t thought of this way of looking at imagination. Thanks, M.R. for making me think!!

      1. And thanks to you for making me see that a painter can be either a fiction or a nonfiction artist ! Bloody marvellous, M-G !!

      2. I believe we may be on to something here, M.R.! This topic needs to percolate some more. I hadn’t thought too much on it until you brought it up but now may dig around in it a bit! Thank you for the eye opening thoughts!

      3. Go for it ! – no-one can write on this kind of thing like you can.
        Pretty amazing, considering you’re not qualified …
        [M-R falls over laughing]

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