Imagination Yet?

There is something each of us are “not”, something we feel we are lacking. Some people “do not have a sense of humor.” Some people “do not have tact.” Others “do not have a sense of direction.” Others are “not emotional.”

I do not have an imagination.

This is what I say of myself on a regular basis. It truly bothers me at times. Why can’t I pretend to be an animal with my son and really imagine it, see it? How do others seem to come up with such thrilling tales from their mind’s eye? Does my mind have no eye? Is my mind blind?

As with many things, as long as I focused in, on myself, I was missing something. When I looked out, at others, I found something.

A new mother was saying to me recently, “I have realized I am just not an emotional mother.” Being an overly emotional person myself I can see the benefit in that, the ability to remain calm more often. But a mere ten seconds after she said that, it was shown that her comment was not exactly true. What she meant by not being an emotional mother was that she lacked empathy. She did not feel for her baby’s discomfort and whining. But as I held the tiny child, one slight whimper brought her mother to action. “She’s hungry, I’ll feed her.” The baby had not cried, had barely moved and whimpered, but this new mother knew and felt it all. When the infant cried for no reason, as babies are prone to do, this mom looked as though she was undergoing torture.

It isn’t that she IS NOT, but that she displays it differently than she would like or than she sees in other mothers.

A second piece to my outward view was an interview between Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen. They began discussing emotion, and how they display it on set. Gandalf shared that he felt he had not mastered it in the way Cate had because he needed to truly feel it. On stage, Ian was sharing, the fact that you don’t truly feel angry is hidden by paint and distance. But on the big screen the camera is in your face, it will catch the lie.

I can be very interested in it and believe in it and understand it. But actually being it, I’m 90% acting and only 10% being it, and that won’t do for the camera. So, actually, I avoid characters that have a big emotional…but isn’t it fun getting better at your job? –Ian McKellen

I am Ian McKellen.

At least I reflect that very feeling that I just can’t feel the full sensation of it. I want it to be real, I want to feel, smell, taste, and be the imaginary animal in the toddler game. Others do not actually need that, so they imagine much easier, much faster, because they don’t mind the holes in their game. They don’t care that dogs don’t use knees to crawl like I do. But Davy can see right through me, he is the camera.

So, I will revise my original statement.

I now recognize that my perception is off on imagination.

I believe that others see the way I see, and I project onto that my idea of what they must be doing when they are imagining. In reality people imagining are not usually trying to have a real experience. They are escaping into their mind and inviting me along. I shared a little of my breakthrough in pictures in the post on changing my priorities in planning, Planning on Water. Kyrie Rebekah received a singing tea set for her birthday in March, and I have been having regular tea parties with her. I actually showed her how to pretend we were drinking tea and eating cakes!

So, whatever your one-liner, give it a toss in the compost bin of your brain for awhile. Let it sit without being said. Live your life and let God work on your heart. Pray through your reasons, and ask God to reframe it in His light. He didn’t make defective children. Maybe He wants to add the word “Yet”.

I just don’t have a sense of humor yet. See, so much more hopeful than the other way.

Secondly, who cares what other people think. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others. Most of the times I find that I was way overthinking it anyway.


Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

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