We’ve all heard the mournful claim that kids today have lost touch with imagination. “When I was a kid, there was no _______. We had to use our imagination!” There are two problems with this: 1) You say this as if imagination is unique to children. Maybe you’re the one who’s lost touch with it. 2) Kids really haven’t lost touch with imagination. They just live in a different world than we did and, therefore, experience and exercise it differently.
We just had our first real snowfall last night here in New Brunswick and it brought me back to my childhood, a time when my imagination was constantly active. Snow brought out the creative juices as my friend and I would build snow forts, caves, snowmen, ammunition, or a mountain (on which people would either voluntarily roll off or get involuntarily thrown off). And yes, looking back I often think that we adults have lost touch with our imaginations. When I see it snowing, I still enjoy it, but I quickly get back to “real life.” I can’t expect myself to run out and jump in the snow and make snow angels. I’m older, more broken down, and more tired than I was at 8. However, imagination isn’t always active like that. Sometimes my imagination is at its best when I’m sitting still, staring at snowfall, or a frosted window, or some kind of beauty brought by winter, and my mind forgets about real life. No, we didn’t have Internet when we were little. My parents didn’t have video games, and my grandparents didn’t have TV. But we forget that the programs we see and the games we play on those media came from someone’s wonderful imagination.
One of the reasons I write is to exercise my imagination. I doubt I’ll be able to crank out anything like C.S. Lewis was able to do with his Chronicles of Narnia, but if I’d be writing only to try and gain fame or notoriety, then I’d be missing the point.
Congratulations The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: Georgie Henley as Lucy Prevensie in… the Wardrobe movie.
Best Actor: Charlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush. Not sure which scene I like better. Dancing with two forks and two rolls or eating his boot.
Best Quote: Grumpy Old Men has a ton of great quotes and I had a hard time picking one. But I finally settled on: “When I had my ulcers, I was farting razor blades.”
Ever hear of the superhero Thunderman? I didn’t think so. He was my creation when I was a kid. I guess I didn’t think the name through completely seeing as thunder is all noise and no action.