What Does It Mean to Be a People of . . . IMAGINATION?
What Does it mean to be a People of Imagination?
In the month of January we are exploring what it means to be a people of imagination. A people who dream, create, and build; who are fed by creative practice and working for justice. A people who believe that what exists right now is not all that can be. Soul matters describes being a people of imagination as the practice of waking up to possibility and healing the world by conjuring up its missing parts. Join us as we explore and create together.
Reflections on Imagination:
Listen To The Mustn’ts
Listen to Mustn’ts, child, listen to the Don’ts.
Listen to the Shouldn’ts, the Impossibles,
Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.
Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.
History is birthed out of the imagination. It literally was conjured up. Imagination is so powerful that it could set forth 400, 500 years of something wrong, which means that it very well could set forth 400, 500 years of something right. That’s sort of the beauty of humanity.
I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.
The practice of waking up to possibility.
The healing practice of putting ourselves in other people’s shoes.
The practice of completing the world by conjuring up its missing
Imaginatively Replace Every Other Line
It’s a common exercise for writers and poets: Imaginatively deconstruct a poem to create something new. For this exercise, you are asked to engage a particular version of it. Here are the instructions: Take a poem, cross out every other line, and then rewrite the poem filling in the crossed out lines with lines of your own. You can take it to the next level by taking the new poem you’ve created and crossing out the remaining original lines (leaving the ones you wrote) and then filling in the crossed out lines with new ones of your own, making it a completely original poem.
We suggest you use the poem, Delusions of Grandeur, by Darnell Arnoult. But of course you might also want to pick a poem of your own.
To help you on your way, here’s a blog post showing how one poet did the exercise using Arnoult’s poem: http://asclepion.blogspot.com/2011/02/poem-delusions-of-grandeur.html
Taking It Home: Ideas for All Ages
Thirty Circles is a game that comes from the world of corporate creativity. It’s used as a team exercise to generate a lot of fresh ideas, as well as improve team members’ fluidity and flexibility in creating content. Those may or may not be goals in your family, but challenging one another to imagine as many funny, odd, and unexpected “circles” is great fun!
Here’s how to play:
Open the link below and print out a copy for each family member.
When every family member has a handout and a pen or pencil, set a timer for three minutes. Your challenge is to create a different, recognizable picture out of as many circles as you can in the timeframe. (Ideas to help a very young person get started: a cookie, a face, a planet, a wheel…)
Afterward, compare pictures. Did any of you imagine the same things? If so, did you draw them the same ways? Who was able to fill in the most circles? Which circle was the most unexpected? Did anybody “break the rules” by combining circles or using the circles as negative space? (Did you all set any rules? If so, did they open or close imagination?)
Note: This makes a great game to play over video conferencing with family members who can’t be together in person!