Friday, June 23, 2006

Real Imagination

Where exactly is the line between reality and imagination severed? I, from time to time think about this and of course have no concrete answer that I can uphold with fact. If that sounds a tad bit circular, that's because it is. Another, "Which came first..." sort of thing. In fact, just like the great Chicken and Egg debate, many would likely say of the reality and imagination question, "So What!"

The problem is, if you think this comes down to, one is real and the other isn't, then clearly you will think this is just a dog chasing his own tail. If this were "real vs. not real" then I likely would not even be blogging on the subject today.

Imagination is a product of the mind and the mind is real, therefore I see no reason to discount the imaginative powers that be. Such bold thoughts have put a man on the moon and may one day cure cancer, HIV, diabetes and a whole host of things we haven't even discovered yet.

Walk into a gallery and see a painting of a farm scene with great detail and you can easily say, wow that artist is good, that looks almost real. Further along the wall is an abstract piece of art on a canvass medium. On first glance you see nothing distinguishable in it. So, you convince yourself that the first one is closer to reality, and the latter one is not. However, both paintings were a product of the artist's creative thought process and it seems to me that being said, they both must be reality.

Sometimes I will write a poem and someone I know will ask, when did that happen to you? I have to chuckle because in many instances, it happened to me in my head over a period of time and several rewrites. It becomes difficult at times to assure someone that a particular poem is not a historical account of something that happened to me. And, sometimes it is. Then of course, I have written things that people will tell me seem not at all reality based and that that I should write straight more forward poems that are clear in meaning. If I conjured it up I my head, is it not real?

I think reality and fact must be separated. They are not one in the same. Especially where art is concerned. That is where the whole issue of reality and imagination get tangled up. Reality and fact are often interchanged, then we want to test imagination against a (factual) standard. This is how art in all forms, including poetry often get discounted in terms of importance. Factual, perhaps not, reality, always!


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