Imagination is usually seen as a Creative force, but many of the writers and philosophers in Romanticism talk about using IMAGINATION to make sense of contradicting visions in the real world. The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre says when we imagine, we must first destroy the image of what exists in our mind before we create something anew, that consciousness necessarily involves a power of negation. Write about IMAGINATION in your work as either a CONSTRUCTIVE or DESTRUCTIVE force.
If IMAGINATION is the power to turn chaos into meaning, to cohere the random events of our day into a type of story, (if we take it as one of the essential powers of our minds), how can we strengthen and flex our imagination during the day to help us not just as artists, but as human beings?
Think about children at play. Using imagination, playing games, creating games in their own minds that may have rules that wouldn’t even make sense to an adult, perhaps working on a kind of dream logic. Working on developing relationships and making connections. What kind of narrative techniques might hide in these games? What kind of breakdowns in normal storytelling might get at an intimacy with ourselves that could bring us back to a childlike state? Freud observed his grandson playing with a block on a string, a type of yo-yo. He would throw the object away from him and say out loud “fort!” (“gone away!”) and then reel it back to him and yell “da” (“there it is!” or “back again!”). Freud speculated the child was playing this game, as a way of testing and teasing his mental control over his power of the absence and fulfillment of needs. Because we cannot control at that age exactly when our needs are met, he was making a game of the experience of possibly being able to control that.
Think about what you get from fiction and imaginary worlds in your life, and what you’d like to give other people, on whatever scale and dimension imaginable, in creating a world for them. Do you want to create a Universe to explore like a Star Wars saga? Or true moments, true breaths, in poetry?