Maybe, Just My Imagination

The 12th leg of the virtual Camino, and our guide tells us our focus is to use our imagination – and just keep going. Apparently this leg of the trip is rather dull.

And so is the day. In a way. I have been moving through the day at a steady gallop from seven-thirty to five. Mentoring students, tweaking assignments for individual needs, conference calls and documentation. I’m grateful the students are patient with me.

We pilgrims are 1/3 of the way along this trail. Though everyone’s destination is slightly different. Some are imagining the actual trip. Looking at photos, reading up. Some are mimicking the hiking – racking up the kilometers. I had planned on doing that.

Best laid plans.

I am using my imagination to see things new. To notice the details here on my daily walks in the way I notice details when I travel. I was going to write: to unknown places. At least that was the familiar phrase that wanted to run out of my fingertips. But the truth is that so much of this place – this environment I move though daily – is unknown to me.

What if? Today I have been mentoring acting students – some of them working with Stanislavsky’s “Magic If”. Finding the simplicity difficult to grasp. It seems too simple.

Child-like make-believe: What if? What if I were a brown rabbit moving through this tall grass?

The idea is to give up preconceived ideas and rubrics you might have for the world. Approach it new – from the inside – by using your imagination.

With my imagination, I can fly up and approach again from another perspective. I can observe the world moving with varying tempos. I can alter the passage of time with my breath.

What if I had never seen this building before? The one I can see now through my living room window. How would I know what it is for? Who lives here? Who comes to visit, and why? When the visitors leave, why is their posture different from when they arrived? Just a bit more stooped. Their tempo, just a bit more legato?

Earlier this week I looked out the kitchen window, and I noticed the wires running through the glass of the back window of my husband’s car. They shone red in the clear light of the sunrise. Such an odd thing not to have noticed before.

Maybe not. Maybe our lives would be too full if we were to notice everything. We’d go mad.

Or maybe, just maybe, our lives would be… satisfying, just as they are.

Imagine that.

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  1. I watched the Ray Charles ‘movie’ last night and was fascinated by the scene where he falls, when first blind, as a child. His mother doesn’t run over and save him, she watches … and slowly he looks round, listening. And he hears Everything. I loved that. He explained it later, as an adult, of how sound becomes like vision, And it matched up with a beautiful Ted Talk I’d heard by a blind guy, who talked of using sound like a Bat would. Actually, you might enjoy it: https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_kish_how_i_use_sonar_to_navigate_the_world?language=en

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