Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.Albert Einstein
Have you ever spent a leisurely afternoon gazing up at fluffy clouds drifting through a sunny sky, changing into various shapes, sometimes into eerie dark formations? What did you see? Perhaps we each see something a little different as our imaginations soar - images based upon who we are, what we believe, and our experiences in life.
I personally love the image above of "angel clouds" captured by my dear friend, Jacquelin LaVonne, over Lake Kakagi in Ontario on a fishing trip with her late husband shortly before he died. The other image, of vivid clouds floating over an old barn, evokes a sense of nostalgia for days gone by. Imagine what life was like in those days...
Children frequently have the gift of imagination, something that we, as adults, tend to forget about as we grow older and busier with the demands of life. Children engage in pretend play, fantasy games, and some even have imaginary friends. It saddens me to think that many of us tend to outgrow imagination - one of life's greatest treasures, I think.
What is imagination exactly? Wikipedia defines it as "the ability to form new images and sensations in the mind that are not perceived through senses such as sight or hearing." I believe that it frequently involves superimposing the spiritual/intuitive realm upon the "real" world as we know it. But...what is real and what is not??
Why is imagination important? Because it opens up endless possibilities for the future. Because it allows us to go above and beyond the physical world as we know it. To learn. To explore. To create. Sometimes to escape from the problems in our lives as we imagine a brighter future - the first step to creating that future.
As a writer - and a reader - imagination is one of the things that I value most. I love authors like William Kent Krueger who have the ability to blend fact and fantasy into amazing stories that draw the reader into imaginary worlds. His recent release, Windigo Island, revolves around the theme "In every human being, there are two wolves constantly fighting. One is fear and the other is love." These words of wisdom come from Henry Meloux, the ancient Ojibwe Mide in this novel. Imagination at its' best!
As for me, I continually strive to develop my imagination, to get out of the way of my rational mind and let it flow. One of the greatest compliments I've received was in a book review by Stacie Theis of Beachbound Books. She wrote, "Janet Kay is a gifted storyteller who enthralls her readers with her brilliant imagination and alluring plot. Amelia 1868 is a story you won't be able to put down!" Thank you, Stacie!
Let's all step back to the days of our childhood and let our imaginations soar once more!
Please stay tuned and stay in touch.