Follow this by Email if'n you like

Apr 25, 2013

Imagination Returns

We can never say we "own" another, but we do live with a wonderful dog named Imagination. He has more talents than you can shake a stick at! He's no professional dog who's given a career and a chance to fulfill himself elsewhere. He's a house dog who lies faithfully at our feet, and– when he is not sleeping– stares longingly into our eyes.

It's not like we don't take him for walks and throw things for him to chase and even tumble on the ground together. I have seen him take a trail off into the landscape on a furious adventure, returning only when my whistle became tinged less by desire and more by insistence. Because there is something about his ambition that frightens us. What if he chased some neighbor kid out there or innocently killed another creature or jumped some 'no trespassing' fence (can't read, probably wouldn't mind even if he did), or got involved in some nefarious business we knew nothing of or tried to bite a train or jumped a freighter to Taiwan and we never saw our love again? It's too frightening to contemplate.

So we keep him close, never letting him beyond our sight. The walks are never enough to satisfy him, but we do live in a practical world after all and hey none of us get everything we want. But those eyes. Those haunting, pleading eyes!

Recently it really got to me and I stood up. He beat me to it as he always does. I opened the door and he whooshed out and spun around for his partner. But I just stood in the doorframe and waved him off. "Go on. It's OK, go."  He raced away and spun again, half crouching to the ground in the universal display of "well?" I was tempted but after a few steps I stopped. "No, you go. Really. You deserve it, Maj." I watched him slowly get up. He sniffed around, skimming the headlines, but always looking back. I waved him on. Sniff, look, wave, sniff, look. Finally he riveted on one and read the whole story. I had gone inside.

The mysterious bronze-spiked gift.
I hated myself for letting him go like that, against all my fears. But after dark just as we were sitting down to dinner– our social glue ritual– Maj came back to join us as if he'd been merely conked out on the carpet. He was tired but those Majical eyes were full of adventure.

The next morning, before Matins, I let him out again and he raced, turned, received my blessing and then vanished in the darkness beyond the figure-smeared pyramid of light spilling from the door I closed. I knew that was it, and spent the day in mourning. But to our joy again that night Maj returned, this time bringing us a strange object, laying it carefully by the boots inside the door. It was a piece of driftwood, battered smooth and greyed from years abroad but impaled by an ancient, worn bronze spike, the very last word in a long and tragic tale. (We have yet to hear the story but to this day it rests, finally, on our bookshelf).

We have learned to put our fears at rest as well. Imagination is a wild creature that we do not understand, but intelligent in ways we cannot know. We have come to an understanding at last. He frightens us, yes, but he has a life of his own every bit as vital and worthy of expression as our own. We will never get the full story– only the hints that are shared– and of course he longs for our company, as we his. But his life is his own and to fully honor our deeply beloved Imagination, we must breathe deep, let go and trust in the mystery that lavishes us all with equally pure love.

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Tim Holmes Studio

My photo

I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.