Where does IMAGINATION come from?

Where does IMAGINATION come from?

Have you ever wondered why some people imagine more than others? What makes us dreamers or pragmatic? What makes me what I am today? I often go back to memories and suddenly I come to realize how much my simple childhood influenced my life and the way I see things with the eyes of my mind.

I grew up in small town and big time communist society with very limited access to a lot of things, music, movies, books… dreams and aspirations. Everything seemed so caged that even travelling outside your home town felt like a far dream. You could say that with some many forbidden turns there was no place or nor point for dreams and imagining anything else outside your little box called house, work and family. So either you get stuck in that kind of thinking or you find routes to escape just like I did.

My escape was 14 km away from my town, in the little village of my grandparents. A place hidden away from the world, at the base of mountains, surrounded by trees, a place that felt small in the way of living and limitless in the way of dreaming.

That was not a time of tablets, iphones, legos and Star Wars and anyway my family was using me as run boy to get them cigarettes and had no concern about my desire to play. So yes, I had no toys ever, not even a single one! Like any child, I wanted to play so my only option was to create something out of nothing. I remember looking around the yard and thinking “how can I make this into a toy?”, “does this old wood look maybe like a car?”. This is how I built myself armies out of old buttons or feathers and the animal skin carpets that my grandmother had on the floor became worlds full of fantasy.

And I remember my great grandmother and her Second World War stories. She was a woman that lived a long life and she was well known for her drinking habit. I adored her exactly the way she was, old, a bit crazy and half time drunk. In fact, those times were the best for me to explore her room with all kind of old crap cause I knew she will be slow to come back or she will sleep off the buzz somewhere in the shade of a tree. What a fantastic world for a toyless kid was there under her crooked bed…war medals, letters, maps, old coins.

I grew a bit older and became better at reading and suddenly I started to explore a different world, that created by books. I was reading everything I could find from old books to geography and history and doing my best to picture everything in my head. How do you do that when all your life you only knew a small town and even smaller village without TV or internet to stir your imagination? For me a picture was a movie and I could look at it for a very long time as if I was trying to see as much as possible beyond it.

My imagination started from a lack of choices so I wonder, do we think more when we have less? What if I had it all, what if I had it easy? I blamed others for my lack of possibilities and I grew frustrated because I felt trapped. What is better after all, to learn how to beat the trap or not have a trap at all? Is it realistic to think that all our lives things will be smooth and nice and we will have no need of creativity? I don’t think so and the moment I understood that I also accepted all the things I did not have in life served to me on a silver platter.

Where do you escape reality when your reality sucks? Do you… escape it?