“Fly me to the moon,
let me play among the stars.
Let me see what spring is like
A-Jupiter and Mars…”
If you have imagination, you can fly to the moon, dance with planets, and make stars into your friends. You can travel back or forward in time and you can go anywhere you want. Your mind and your energy will take you anywhere that you wish to go. During this time of isolation, your imagination can be either your enemy or your friend. I suggest that you make your imagination your friend. It is pure energy, waiting to be brought out of you. What tools do you need to harness that energy? Here are a few suggestions.
Full of stories and wonder, books will take you anywhere you wish to go. Because I have access to books, I have recently delivered books to people in the Kentucky mountains of the 1930s who had no way of traveling on their own to the public library. Because I have access to books, I could choose one of many keys hanging by ribbons from a ceiling and I could open doors. Because I have access to books, I could follow a pianist and an architect wanna-be through the dangers of World War I as they worked to find their way back to each other. And because I have access to my local public library (the Grand Island Memorial Library), there is no end to the adventures that I can take via books. Go visit your library and nourish your imagination by borrowing books.
****A song. I have always loved music. Singing and playing an instrument are ways to explore what is inside of you. When you create music, you are expressing yourself in a universal language. During this past year, I have had to change direction in my musical journey, away from choral singing and toward something different and even creative. The last time that I went to choir rehearsal at Saint Martin in the Fields church on Grand Island, New York, was early in March of 2020. And then, it stopped. Not ended. Stopped. At first, I was so stunned that I didn’t sing a note. I felt that music had been torn away from me. But then, I realized that I had to use my imagination to bring out the music that was inside of me. I knew that it had to come from me.
I started looking for free concerts on FaceBook and on YouTube. I listened to so much music. But it wasn’t interactive. And then, one day early last spring, I discovered a live on-line concert featuring a songwriting duo that I’ve enjoyed listening to since about 2004, Emma’s Revolution! When I travel from city to city by bus, I listen to their music. I look out the bus windows in the middle of the night and I hear, though headphones attached to an MP3 player, “In the soft of the night, we are learning not to fight, in our hearts, in our drum, we are one.” And I listen to it over and over when I travel to participate in walks about ending wars. I listen to it so much that I memorize the lyrics and the words and, at home, I sing along with gusto.
And all of a sudden, a year ago, Emma’s Revolution was there, in my world. Not just inspiration, but really, really there for me, when I needed music the most. Sandy and Pat were on line and interactive and running a weekly program called “Learn an Emma’s Revolution song.” So I join and I sing, by myself because there’s a lag in Zoom. It’s not possible to sing as a group on Zoom. I start making up harmonies. Why? It’s safe. If you make a mistake, no one can hear you! And now, I am learning songwriting from them. I have discovered that I can sing the songs inside of me into reality. All it takes is imagination and encouragement.
****A picture. Use a camera, a sketchbook, a canvas. What do you see? Photograph it, paint it, draw it. You can make it as representational or as nonrepresentational as you choose. It’s your creation. Oh, and you can paint on just about any surface, including wood, fabric, glass, and rocks. You can create worlds where nothing existed before.
****other tools. There are so many. A few other tools for me are crochet hooks and yarn. I’ve made a few afghans which, mostly, I’ve given away. What would you like to do to explore your creativity? It’s up to you. Some people like to make sculptures from tree trunks after the tree has died. Some people like to use welding to make sculptures. Some people use glass and other materials to create mosaics.
What is your imagination leading you to do? How can you fly to the moon and play among the stars?