Imagination

Besides creativity, one of the things that has always fascinated me is the act of imagination – how new things can be created out of thin air, so to speak, or perhaps more accurately out of memory and thought, looking at the world a little differently. As a writer, I’ve been startled more than once by passing someone that is so much like a character from my imagination, that I’ve been tempted to call his or her name. It’s a mysterious and creative force.

Though originally merely a sentence in an Oscar Wilde essay called “The Decay of Lying,” this has always expressed something deep to me about the power of the imagination.

Dragons will wander about
the waste places,
and the phoenix will soar
from her nest of fire
into the air.
We shall lay our hands
upon the Basilisk,
and see the jewel
in the toad’s head.
Champing his gilded oats,
the hippogriff will stand
in our stalls,
and over our heads
will float the bluebird,
singing of beautiful and
impossible things,
of things that are lovely
and that never happened,
of things that are not
and that should be.

I especially like the last few lines, where the bluebird sings of “things that are not and that should be.” This is how we make changes in our situations, our lives, and our country – we imagine a new world of things that are not, but should be.

What kind of a life are you looking for? What kind of a world do you want to live in? It all starts with imagination – and then continues with action. As William Arthur Ward said, “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it” – especially if you find others who share your dream and can imagine with you.

Quotes about imagination

Come with me
And you’ll be
In a world of pure imagination
Take a look
And you’ll see
Into your imagination.
~ Josh Groban, from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

The courage to imagine the otherwise is our greatest resource, adding color and suspense to all our life.–Daniel Boorstin

Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.–Mae Jemison

Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.–John Dewey

The greatest discoveries have come from people who have looked at a standard situation and seen it differrently.–Ira Erwin

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.–Albert Einstein

I doubt the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, that child would grow up to be an eggplant.–Ursula K. LeGuin

I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters, they are often more afraid. What is more, those who choose not to empathize enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude through our own apathy.–J. K. Rowling

Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to popular belief, is more powerful in the mature than the young.–W. Somerset Maugham

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.–George Bernard Shaw

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.–Carl Sagan

Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving out quality of life.–Sidney Sheldon

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