Sunday, November 13, 2011

Imagination is a Powerful Thing

Currently Reading: Boone County Then and Now, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling, and The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (I love you, Ms. Hoffman!)

Hello everyone! I'm sorry for the sudden departure from the blog for the past two weeks, but many things have had to take precedence (work, family emergency, etc.) to this wonderful project of mine. But I am back with so much to talk about! I actually had to run ideas past Nathan this afternoon because I could not decide on which topic I wanted to expound upon first.

I finished the Book Lust books, which were eye-opening, inspiring, and resulted in many additions to my "Must Read" list. I believe I am now on 89 books that I want to read or reread.... I pray that God gives me a long life so that I get the chance to indulge in all of the book-worlds and meet all of the characters I wish!

Today, I feel like discussing imagination, a precious and life-altering substance as real and necessary to our well being as our souls. I have been thinking about the power of imagination lately, as I reflect on my childhood and dive into both old and new novels. The imagination and books work together simultaneously; you cannot have one without the other. Reading, enveloping oneself within another world or another time, among strange and marvelous new people, stimulates the imagination. But it is our imagination that gives life and voice to paragraphs and sentences printed in ink. They work in conjunction, bettering our lives in every way.

I have consistently relied upon my imagination throughout my life- it is my sincere belief that it is from our soul that our imagination springs and thrives and that, like flames licking logs, our imagination grows with our exposure to literature. Because of my imagination, I fell head over heels in love with reading. Narnia, Frell, or Civil War-era America would never have changed my life like they did without the pictures that my imagination conjured within my mind. When I was a girl, I finished my homework by pretending I was studying in the Gryffindor common room at Hogwarts; I remember pretending to have conversations with some of my favorite literary characters; my sister and I acted out our favorite books. I imagined what it was like to be Anne of Green Gables, Caddie Woodlawn, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jo March, Hermione Granger, and I aspired to live up to their examples. As an adult, I can still revisit the places of my childhood, or broaden my life experiences without leaving my living room. I can have coffee with Clare and Henry in downtown Chicago, discussing time in all of its intricacies; contemplate death and sacrifice in the little village of Eyam in the 1600s; or witness desperation as Ethan Frome and Mattie sail down the hill on a sled. All of this speaks to me, teaches me, and feeds my imagination.
Anne says it best: "It just makes me feel glad to be alive—it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?”
Oh, do I love that line. And this one too: "I have a real issue with anyone trying to protect children from their own imaginations." This quote, from none other than the phenomenal and imaginative J.K. Rowling, echoes my own love and respect for the power of imagination in a child's life. This is why I feel so strongly against banned books, against trying to stifle or keep children away from the powerful and evocative world of literature. A vibrant imagination is everything. And I plan on continuing to let mine grow. It is amazing what our minds are capable of.... and how much better our lives are because of the books we surround ourselves with.

Happy reading... I hope you have fun feeding your imagination this week!


  1. I completely agree. We should never hamstring ours or anyone else's imagination. In my opinion doing so only harms a person and can be damaging to further development in critical thinking. A mind, indeed, is a terrible thing to waste. Thus, we should always endeavor to let others dream, think, and create.

  2. I love the Anne of Green Gables quote! It's so completely true! You make me miss the days of carting our American Girl dolls across the lawn while we traveled the "Oregon Trail", but it's good to realize that even as adults we can have an active imagination. We just channel it in different ways. :) Love you Jilly!


Share your thoughts!

Keep On Reading...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...