Another day, another dollar. Or rather, dollars, since a single dollar doesn’t really buy anything anymore. Yesterday, I had a friend recommend that I listen to the Bon Iver album “Bon Iver.” It was quite lovely. In fact, I describe it as “inhaling on a cool sunny morning in a meadow just after a light rain.” Which is a pretty specific feeling. It’s also really interesting, since it is just a group of sounds coming together. There’s no storm, no rainfall, and certainly none of the warm sunlight. Yet somehow I can so clearly picture that specific scene.
Which brings me to one of my more ethereal topics, which is imagination. Imagination is a powerful tool and a dangerous weakness. It’s amazing in the sense that it allows us to find the path to achieve something that otherwise seemed impossible. Without imagination, we never reach Mars. Without imagination, we never forge the sword. Without imagination, we never rise above our expected potential. It takes imagination to lay the framework for any good plan. Even something as mundane as a supermarket initially took the imagination of someone to provide food for everyone all in one place.
The fatal flaw of imagination though is that it is also our own damnation. Imagination is what makes us afraid of the dark. It’s what incites us to do unthinkable damage, and feel depths of hatred against groups we have never spoken to. Seriously. It’s a great scare tactic. Trump uses it all the time, and I have no doubt that our imagination played a role in the invasion of Iraq.
I have no idea how imagination works though. I’m not a scientist or psychologist. What I do know is that it is something we use in our conscious lives—but we also sort of use it when we are asleep, right? I mean, isn’t dreaming just basically the unrestricted and unmonitored use of our imagination during our sleep? I like to think of imagination as the melding point between our unconscious minds and our conscious ones. It’s like pouring blue and red paint down two different sides of a bowl. The purple part at the very center is where the magic happens that makes things purple, and the rest of it is on either side of consciousness, uncombined. It’s where the gut feelings come from, or that sudden, perfect idea develops out of. Because your conscious mind is very literal. It deals with what’s in front of you, or the problem at hand. It can work out the best way to do something, and maybe picturing the concept is hinging on the outside of imagination, but embracing imagination allows for a connection beyond just the mental.
To bring this full circle, I like to think of things like music as catalysts. They awaken our senses and activate our subconscious to think in new ways. And the best part is that they aren’t always productive ways to think. They just make us think. No worries. No stress. No finishing that last task. Just deep breaths and good vibes.