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Jan 5, 2018

Beloved Imagination

I live with a wonderful dog named Imagination. He has more talents than you can shake a stick at. He's not a professional dog with a career and a chance to fulfill himself elsewhere; he's a house dog who collects unemployment, lying faithfully at my feet all day, staring longingly into my eyes while I persue mine. This is truly unfair.

I've seen him take a trail off into the woods beyond our garden on a furious exploration, returning only when my whistle becomes tinged less by desire and more by insistence. Yet there's something about his limitless adventurism––well beyond mine––that frightens me. I worry he'd get into some trouble; hurt some neighbor kid or jump a No Trespassing fence (can't read, but if he even if he could that concept would seem silly), or jump a freighter to Taiwan and be gone! It's too frightening to contemplate.

So I keep him close, never letting him beyond my sight. We take walks every day but those are never enough to satisfy him. He'd love to take me on a grand adventure but I'm kind of a home guy.

And yet... those eyes. Those haunting, pleading eyes!

Recently that got to me and I stood up. He bounded to the door as if he knew. I opened it 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 did a figure eight, 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, Mag." I watched him get up and trot out the gate. He sniffed around in the weeds outside our fence, skimming the headlines, always looking back, tempting me. I waved him on. Go! Sniff, look, wave, sniff, look. Finally he riveted on one fascinating unfolding story and followed it off into the looming woods. I had gone inside.

I hated myself for letting him go like that, against all my fears. But after dark just as I sat down to dinner Mag trotted back to join me as if he'd been merely conked out on the grass. He was tired but those Magical eyes brimmed with the lights of mysterious adventure of Love, while I'd been home piling gifts on the altar of my Fear.

Next morning before Matins I again let him out. Figure eight, crouch, wave, sniff, look, wave, sniff, look, wave. Then Maj vanished into the dark shape of the trees beyond the figure-smeared pyramid of light spilling from the door I closed. I worried, once again, that this might be the last I'd see him and spent the rest of the day in mourning. But again that night Mag returned, this time bringing in a strange object, laying it carefully by my 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 perhaps tragic tale. It appeared to be a bite out of an antique ship. (To this day it rests on my bookshelf). It seemed like Mag was living a richer life than I was! I had to expand my limits. He was getting all Love, while I harvested only Fear.

So we've reached an understanding at last. I'm working to put my fears to rest in order to move deeper into the life he's so good at engaging. Imagination is a wild creature that I do not understand, intelligent in ways I cannot know. His exuberance frightens me, yes, but he has a life of his own every bit as vital and worthy of expression as mine. I will never know his full story––only the hints that are shared––but at least we can share our quest. So I will swallow my fear and Imagination and I will adventure together. I must breathe deep, let go and trust in the mystery like Imagination does. Like him, I will trust that we're all lavished with equally pure Love. We just have to step out and take it!

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Tim Holmes Studio

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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.