A Life of the Imagination

IMG_0013Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. – Edgar Allan Poe

To see the world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wildflower.
To hold infinite in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour.
– William Blake

Often a day or two before I write a blog article or newsletter I will ask the question as I hold the intention of wanting to be the highest contribution to my readers, “what should I write about?” I ask it silently in my mind and then let it go as I go about my day waiting for the answer to come from my imagination. For this article the response came as a line from a favorite poem by Mary Oliver called Spring Azures that ends with the line “a life of the imagination”.

The poem begins with Blue Azures, the small blue butterflies that cluster around mud puddles and ends with William Blake, the 18th century English poet, painter and printmaker. (find full poem below). Considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, Blake has since been held in high regard for his expressiveness, creativity and the mystical undercurrents within his work as well as the way he embraced the imagination as “Divine” or as “Human existence itself”.

Creativity and imagination are something that tends to get stomped out of us at an early age. We are taught to conform. Daydreaming is punished. Drawing within the lines rewarded. Yet without imagination we are cut off from insights and ideas of expanded states of awareness and the higher realms of consciousness. And as Einstein so brilliantly put the levels thinking that created the problems we are experiencing won’t get us out of them. This is true in our personal lives as well as on a global scale. We need the gifts of our own creativity and imagination now more than ever. This is not just for art but for business, technology, our workplace and our homes. Accessing our imagination can assist us in every aspect of our lives.

So try this. Ask the question, “What would it take for me to bring more creativity and imagination into my life?” Then let it go and be open to an answer that comes as a song, or a poem fragment or a book that comes to you or an ah…ha that pops into your mind or however you are able to hear your imagination. Keep asking questions to invite your imagination to emerge to help expand the possibilities in your life.

Spring Azures

In spring the blue azures bow down
at the edges of shallow puddles
to drink the black rain water.
Then they rise and float away into the fields.

Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,
and all the tricks my body knows,
the opposable thumbs, the kneecaps,
and the mind clicking and clicking,

don’t seem enough to carry me through this world
and I think: how I would like

to have wings
blue ones
ribbons of flame.

How I would like to open them, and rise
from the black rain water.

And then I think of Blake, in the dirt and sweat of London, a boy
staring through the window, when God came
fluttering up.

Of course, he screamed,
and seeing the bobbin of God’s blue body
leaning on the sill,
and the thousand-faceted eyes.

Well, who knows.
Who knows what hung, fluttering, at the window
between him and the darkness.

Anyway, Blake the hosier’s son stood up
and turned away from the sooty sill and the dark city
turned away forever
from the factories, the personal strivings,
to a life of the the imagination.

– Mary Oliver

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