The Role of Imagination

Your stories don’t have to be literal.  You may depart from verbatim fact to access the truth of being.  In other words, use the truth of your experience, of how you look at the world so that you tap the universal message about what it is to be human within the story.  Recreate the scene, even if you don’t remember the exact details.  The story will take off on its own.  The characters will do what they want to do.  Go with that.

For example, you remember a blue cup in the china cabinet that stood in the corner of your grandmother’s dining room.  You can take the cup and create a story around it. Who drank from it most often? Tell about that person. Maybe there is a story in how the cup came here from Russia.  Was the cup only for company? Tell about the company that came to Grandma’s house. Did a lover drink from the cup? Tell that story. You discover a lot about yourself when you dive deeply into your imagination and allow yourself to be pulled along.  

For some of you this may be like using a new muscle, familiar from childhood, perhaps, but long since neglected—probably pretty flabby by now. Going on these flights of fancy will bring you back to your life in a new way.  You will discover the power of your own stories.

As you look at the details of things a little more—colors, voices, mustaches, the texture of denim, you will begin to include them in how you see and say things, in how you reconstruct what your life is about.  Tuning into stories that satisfy your soul is like getting a big screen color TV when all we’ve had before is a thirteen-inch black and white.