Monday, June 02, 2008

Pirates, Ninjas & Dragons: Living in a World of Imagination

Crossing blades with pirates on the high seas. Going hand to hand against ninja Jônin in the forests of Japan. Wreaking havoc on hordes of horrid wer-creatures astride a fiery dragon. Alas, the days have long past that such thrilling events could pass in any realm but the imaginary. Yet imagine we can.

We have been obsessed with the imaginary and fantastic from the time the first child asked their parent for a bed-time story. And as that first parent spun for their child a tale of unknown wonder, so too does the tradition of fashioning fantastical tales from nothing continue today. I am sure that everyone can think of a favourite tale from their childhood: a tale of princes and princesses perhaps, or of a troll under a bridge or boogiemen under a bed. We are, from a very young age, immersed in a world of imagination.

Take the entertainment industry. It feeds, and is fed by, the imaginations of the writers, singers, painters and spectators who immerse themselves in its many branches. Television programs and films create and display for us the marvellous images in the heads of their creators. Novels and plays allow us to see what is unseen; that is, use our minds to fill the gaps of what is not shown. It is easy while reading a novel or watching a play, to imagine yourself taking part in the events and become completely immersed in this land of the mind. And still there is art - the physical manifestation of imagination - and music, which harkens back to the oldest forms of storytelling and the bards who wandered Tara with their tales.

What is it that attracts us to the imaginary? There is so much to see, so much our world is filled with. Why, then, do we come up with tales of things outside of what we know?

The answer lies in the question itself. We create stories and fiction because of the Unkown. Where did the trees come from? What are stars? What lies *just* beyond that horizon? A thousand, indeed thousand upon thousands, of tales of imagination have sprung from those questions and others like them. It is inevitable, as anyone who has observed small children will tell you; we are curious beings and, especially in small children, even the smallest unknown can beget the greatest of tales.

And it is by observing children that we can discover the greatest truth about imagination; that it is, in fact, their domain and kingdom. Children are the kings and queens of that amazing, marvellous realm called imagination. That is not to say, however, that adults have no place in this world. No, even though we may grow up on the outside, inside that undeniable force - manifested outwardly in the form of a look of childlike innocence or in a glint of mischief in the eye - called the Inner Child reserves for us our place in the halls of the imaginary. Imagination is, in its deepest essence, the much sought-after Fountain of Youth.

So although we may grow old and our swash-buckling skills may decay, we may still conquer that beastly giant. Or rescue a beautiful princess. Or simply take a stroll with Nyads in a quiet wood.

For we do, after all, live in a world of imagination.


=Annwas Adeniawc=

The Open Door - FortMac'08

1 comment:

  1. Very well written and fantastic!