Friday, July 17, 2015

The Life of the Imagination

A response to Mary Oliver’s “Spring Azures

The “life of the imagination” can go two ways, like divergent paths; both attempts at righteousness. One way seeks escape—a turning away from what is. To not see the pain and dirt and loss around, but instead to focus on what I want, what I need. This path seems holy, at a glance—perhaps like living in a city on a hill—but in the end this imagination abandons both now and not yet for elsewhere entirely.

But then there is the imagination which turns toward. It is a path which goes not around but through. It is to stand in the midst of personal striving and polluting factories, and to see beyond; looking not at what is but what can be, as if we can cultivate this present reality with love like a great Gardener. Then we imagine in order to make real, and find strength and beauty both in the world and ourselves.

For it is the power of the dreamer to transform night into day.