Autumn leaves resting on the earth
Questions, like designs
in a vivid carpet
ignite my imagination
For the past four weeks I’ve been showing up at my desk every morning to write in my journal. And today, I wrote a poem about autumn leaves and imagination. I’m proud that I showed up every day and even more chuffed that I WROTE A POEM!
There’s been a shift in imagination.
It’s been slow-moving, like the changing season outside my window. Autumn has been reluctant to surrender; the leaves on my nectarine tree slowly changing from green to yellow, a few dropping to the ground each day, but many clinging and deepening in colour. Until a few days ago when a sudden disturbance in the air caused them to float to the ground in a cascade of golden hues.
And today, a disturbance, a shift, something — caused the tangle of thoughts and questions I’ve been wrestling with for some time, to suddenly drift away. Those thoughts and questions — tired and obsolete — cleared away, making space for different questions.
‘Why?’ and ‘How could I?’
And ‘What if?’
The four weeks of writing in my journal, like the slow-changing season, was perhaps an essential process, preparing me for this shift in imagination. And those simple questions were the spark for the words which flowed onto the pages, revealing ideas and new ways of doing which I wouldn’t have considered in the past.
And it was serendipitous that a little later whilst scrolling though my Instagram feed, I came across two posts whose words seemed to jump out at me — guiding lights — assuring me that I am right where I’m meant to be.
This one from Terri @writingquietly, whose book list always inspires me.
Tarot narrative for 25 June: swim in the flow of you You’re swimming in your destination: you’re in flow and on the right path. Enjoy it, knowing that all this preparation, the journey, the new skills, the learning, is a pleasure in itself. It’s not just about the destination. Keep on your path, don’t compare yourself and don’t go after every shiny new thing or you’ll lose your way and scatter your energy. And rest when you need to now so clarity can find its way to you. #tarotnarrative #eachdayajourney Reading notes: Cards: Three of Wands and the Four of Swords from the Divina tarot deck, and #16 All That Glitters from Wisdom of the Oracle. Book notes: Mark Nepo’s ‘The Book of Awakening’ has this advice for today: “We become so preoccupied with what we are not able to address, what we are not able to mend, what we are not able to leave behind, that we forget that whatever we are in the light of day is slowly, but surely, healing the rest of us.” #quietwriting
The Collins Dictionary defines imagination as:
The faculty or action of producing ideas, especially mental images of what is not present or has not been experienced.
By imagining what and how and most importantly, what if — the images of what I’m seeking about new ways of working and being, are revealing themselves.
There seems to also be more space in my mind to reconnect with bits of the story from the past and see fresh ways to bring it into the new narrative. And then there are questions about how I want to share this new story.
In his interesting article in the New Yorker on what imagination is and what creativity is not, Joshua Rothman says,
If you’re really creative, really imaginative, you don’t have to make things. You just have to live, observe, think, and feel.
The slow seasonal shift outside my window over the past four weeks has mirrored the realisation of my questions and thoughts. The process of observing, thinking, and writing has been valuable for me to imagine possibilities, to discover a real sense of what if. I regret not having the discipline to stick with it on previous occasions.
This shift in imagination is helping me see the details of what I’m seeking in new ways — to envision what might be. It’s been a process of paring down, finding the essence to draw the vision — selecting only what’s essential to my new story. I understand too, that like the changing season, the process is important, that I should trust that the outcome will emerge, that it is, as Katrina Kenison says, ‘an opportunity to practice’.
Rothman describes this thinking, observing, and feeling, as creative imagination. He says that it’s about:
. . .experiencing life in a creative way; it’s a way of asserting your own presence amidst the much larger world of nature, and of finding significance in that wider world.
What a lovely way to express it!
PS: Has your imagination revealed something important that you were seeking? A new twist in your story, a new way of seeing or being? Please, leave me a comment or send an email, I’d love to hear from you!