The Space to Run

“It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope.”

Ursula Le Guin

I am unsettled when I don’t have ideas. When I don’t have stories weaving and dancing in my head. As a child I would spin tales,

alternate endings for movies I had watched

or sequels to books I had read.

I would fall asleep keeping myself occupied by my imagination instead of the worries of the day.

The images and narrative would usually come on their own getting particularly interesting

just before

I would fall asleep.

I would tell myself, “you should get up and write this down before you forget.”

But I’d be too tired to make the effort.

Then, much to my chagrin, forget the details of my treasures the next morning. Now I’m learning to write in the dark. Half asleep. Scrawling penmanship that hovers above the ruled lines of the notebook. Some mornings I can make out what I’ve written.

Most mornings my writing seems encrypted by some unconscious force.

There isn’t much time during the day to exercise my imagination

or so it seems in adulthood.

And it makes me feel incomplete, restricted, and static. And so I rely on those nighttime hours for the acres of space to run and twirl with my thoughts.

And build.

Build something that has the potential to become something astonishing.

At least to me.

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