Imagination is radical

To imagine is key to our mental health and our emotional wellbeing as well as to our creative sides, which we all have! To imagine is to be able to leave the situation you are in and head toward something new- all in your mind, but possibly then to make those imaginings real. To imagine is to think about possibilities for your future, for your life. To imagine is to believe that there is more than just this present, to be able to see something more, something different.

Imagination is radical. And the most amazing thing about it is that we all have an imagination and we all have the ability to imagine. When we imagine, it can help us through difficult times, it can help us be creative, it can help us come up with new solutions, it can help us feel like we are fully in our lives and more in control of our lives.

We can imagine people we care about and imagine they are there with us. How do we feel thinking about them? We can imagine happy things and notice our mood change. Maybe they are things we really know or maybe they are just dreams. Maybe they are real or maybe not. It doesn’t matter, they are alive in our imaginations.

No one and nothing can take our ability to imagine away, but we must also remember to imagine, and we must practice imagining to keep our imagination thriving!

Today, I want you to invite you to imagine. Choose from the following three options and imagine one of them and write that imagining.

  • ONE: Imagine you are going on a trip to see someone you love or care about a lot. Who are you visiting? Where is this person? Across town or across the world? Maybe you have to quarantine after the journey- what does it look like after that? How is it to be in the company of that person? What will you do? What will you talk about? How will the weather be? The temperature? What will you eat or drink? What noises are there? What will they say that will make you laugh or cry? Where will you sit? If it rains, will you hear it or feel it where you are? Imagine being there with them. How will you feel- and how will you notice that feeling in your body?
  • TWO: Imagine what your happy ending is in this pandemic. Write that happy ending. Begin at the end and work backwards. Write how you get there. Imagine how you feel at the end of the pandemic. Imagine what you are most grateful for. Imagine what you treasure most. Imagine a gift you would want to give to loved ones when you see them again. What is it? Imagine what you would say to a stranger. Imagine what you would say to a friend you hadn’t seen for months. Imagine what you would do. Is there a place you would go? People you would see? A food you would eat? A street you would walk down? A person you would thank? Write about it all. If you don’t know how to begin, start with the phrase: At the end of all this, I imagine…
  • THREE: Let’s go hog wild with happy imaginings! Imagine everything that makes you happy, imagine all the things you love, and write about them. Just list them or write about each and why or how it makes you happy. Each of these things is a happy-making thing for you. Each of these things makes you notice the pull of your smile on your jaw or that you have relaxed your shoulders or you take a breath in. Each of these things feels good in your body, not just in your mind. Notice where they feel good. Write them all down. If you don’t know where to begin, try starting with the phrase: If I could list all the things that make me happy… Then list some and maybe make a comment or two about you listing them, what does it mean to write them, to think of them, to imagine this list before you… Can the list make you happy? Can it make others happy? Be specific too, puppies make you happy- what kind of puppies or what about puppies, their tiny tails, their soft fur, their calm or curious eyes? Show us and make us happy too!

I love imagining people writing about their brilliant and beautiful imaginations. Enjoy- imagine- create.

Thank you for writing and Thank you for imagining all you can imagine! If you would like to receive regular writing prompts for boosting mental health, please follow the blog.

Be safe. Be well.

Best,

Liza Wolff-Francis

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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