Imagination

“I am imagination. I can see what the eyes cannot see. I can hear what the ears cannot hear. I can feel what the heart cannot feel.” ~Peter Nivio Zarlenga

I am a single speck adrift in the vast ocean.  A thousand seas and oceans envelop my being.

The waves are all around me in great crashing aqueous shapes shifting and enveloping one another the way only a liquid can. All around me, they crash in spectacular semi-transparent shimmers.

Ahead looms a great wall of imposing size, sharply slicing through the water. It extends from white to gray and brown flecks up to black and into the clouds higher than I can see. A swath of water is cut open behind it in a large ‘V’.

The wake it creates is going to splash over me and send me under is a struggle of bubbles and I wills surely drown. Despite this I am unable to break my gaze from the massive shape looming over me. It draws closer and shadows over me and I see the texture of the color clearly. It is a layered and filamented pattern which shows beads of water unable to permeate its soft and oily glowing layers.

The beads of water grow closer until I see my reflection distorted on their globular surfaces and I rise up on the wake.  I am sucked in the torrenting typhoon of crushing silver liquid.  I snap out of my daydream.

I look out over the lake beyond my yard from my deck and finish my coffee as the honking geese continue to cut jagged shapes in its otherwise unblemished surface.

We are isolated in ourselves, our own minds, our own perspectives with only rudimentary connection with others. How do we comprehend that which we can’t perceive?

Imagination.

This single trait has shaped humanity in the areas technology and art among others.

We can mentally conceive abstractions and intangibilities. The proof for this is mathematical. Counting up 1… 2…3… It will never cease. That is infinity. It doesn’t exist in our realities, but we think it. We imagine it.

How do we create anything?  First we must imagine…

 

The Power of Imagination

“The imagination is man’s power over nature.” ~Wallace Stevens

Imagination is a powerful asset of human nature.  It is our mind’s ability to comprehend objects, events, scenes, interactions and even worlds which could not exist in reality.  We extend our imagination to include all of our senses with complete autocracy.  Our mental manifestations can extend beyond the realm of the possible into an infinite, unrestricted space.

As we percieve and comprehend more of the physical world around us, our imagination grows.  We can pull from our experiences, mentally sifting through piles of data we have accumulated throughout our lives, combining bits and pieces to create more elaborate visions.

The most difficult aspect of imagination is attempting to recreate it in the physical world.  Whether by word or action, painting or sculpture, mankind has always sought to communicate his imaginings with others.

Conscious Consideration

A man searches his pockets for his wallet and quickly realizes he must have left it on his dashboard a few minutes earlier before making the one block sprint from his car to the platform. He can hear the train approaching and knows that there’s not nearly enough time to run back for his wallet. Luckily, there are several other people boarding the train, and, out of desperation, he asks three different women if he can borrow $10 for the fare. They avoid eye contact while rudely refusing. The women tightly secure their pocketbooks to their shoulders and climb the three steps onto the train destined for New York City.

Little do the women know, but the man they just refused is one of the most brilliant surgeons alive. After a career of nearly 30 years, he retired his scalpel and purchased a house for himself and his wife in Red Bank, NJ. He never thought he would go back to the NYC hospital that he spent countless hours working in, but today there was an emergency that needed his presence. He was the only surgeon with enough experience in the tri-state area to operate on the 6-yr old girl waiting in the trauma unit for him. With the usual early morning traffic, he made a bold decision to take the train to NYC. This would be the quickest way to get to the operating room. Out of nervousness, excitement, and the overwhelming sense of responsibly he faced, he made the life-changing mistake of forgetting his wallet behind. After years of working and thinking quickly, he decided to rush back to his car and drive to NYC. God-willing, he would get there in time.

“Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration.” ~Margaret Chase Smith

“Courteousness is consideration for others; politeness is the method used to deliver such considerations.” ~Bryant H. McGill

Consideration for all life on earth is the single most important factor in our existence. The ability to place yourself in the situations of others is a skill that many lack.  When your own life becomes forefront in your mind, you lose sight of the feelings that others are experiencing.  No matter how absorbed you are in work and family, it is imperative to consider the feelings of others directly connected to you, and those who are complete strangers.

A good method for understanding life as a whole entity, is to remove yourself from a certain situation; picture looking at a scene from above. What are others feeling at that moment? It is quite easy to gather information from subtle facial expressions and body language.

Acting as a whole, benefits the whole. What are we in life without every single living thing around us? We are like one snowflake in a blizzard, one leaf making it’s decent in fall, one raindrop in a flood. Without everything else working together, the snow wouldn’t accumulate, children couldn’t leap into the pile of leaves on an autumn day, and the lake would dry up.

Make it a conscious effort to consider others. Maybe if someone did that morning, the young girl at the hospital would have survived.

Simplicity

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~Leonardo da Vinci

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ~Albert Einstein

I find it very difficult to keep things simple. Writing papers, designing logos, posters and imagery.  I seem to have a natural tendency to let my work become more complex and subsequently cluttered, convoluted and confusing.

I have struggled with my apparent need to overstimulate and appeal to multiple audiences (particularly with my design work) for a long time now.

I began to make real progress with my writing  after a professor at Elon sat me down and discussed my writing style. I had always been a strong writer throughout high school but a few choice words during this conversation helped me see that I was far from my full potential.

After that assignment I was failing the class. I brought my grade up to an A over the course of a semester as my writing improved. My assignments took longer as I spent more time during the revisions after my time spent on free flowing writing. I wrote the required amount of material and then began to combine sentences, paragraphs and ideas. I endeavored to avoid repetition and thought to myself concise thoughts create clarity.

I have tried to implement this mentality in all aspects of my life. Things in this world are already so incredibly complicated, there is simply no need to further that notion.

Eliminate that which is unnecessary and seek purity in all things. Allowing yourself to become overwhelmed with information hinders your understanding and takes you further from the truth.

“Nature is pleased with simplicity.” ~Isaac Newton

“Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Simplicity is natures first step, and the last of art.” ~Philip James Bailey

“However ‘civilized,’ however much brought up in an artificially-contrived environment, we all seem to have an innate longing for primitive simplicity, close to the natural state of living.” ~Dr. D.T. Suzuki. Read More.