“Don’t play what’s there. Play what’s not there.” Miles Davis (from The Painter’s Keys)
Definitions and claimants to the dominion of imagination abound. Everybody wants to claim imagination. Has the word lost its meaning? Who really understands what imagination is all about? Everywhere you turn someone or something is called “Imagination” from cruise ships to engine companies to everything in-between. If everyone is claiming to be imagination this and imagination that, what has become of the real thing?
The definition from Merriam-Webster for imagination is: “the ability to imagine things not real; the ability to form a picture in your mind of something you have not seen or experienced; the ability to think of new things; something that only exists or happens in your mind.” It seems difficult to put that definition on a cruise ship or an engine company. Overuse dilutes the intensity of the imagination into something rather tepid, almost boring. With so many out there hanging the imagination name-tag out, how can real imagination be heard of felt?
All that imagination chatter becomes deafening and stifles the real thing. The imagination bird must be set free from within. That bird has to be able to fly above the chattering crowd, to soar high above it all. Real imagination is new and different, definitely not part of the crowd. Real imagination blooms in a dry desert. It sails on a windless sea. It belongs to the realm of things not real, not seen before, never experienced. It soars through the places only seen in the mind. Real imagination belongs to those with the courage to set it free. Real imagination has no name-tag because it has no name. Everything else is just imitation.