An imaginative leap


Lacking imagination. It can be a damning phrase, and it’s not a very comfortable state to be in.

I’ve written about the fact that I’m busy, that I’m working, that I’ve started training, I’m trying to focus on improving my diet, to lose some weight and get some energy and health into my system. I want to be stronger, to feel physically resilient, in a way that lines up with the strength I’ve become aware of inside me.

The past week I’ve had my two teenage nieces to stay. We went to the Tate Modern to see the Georgia O’Keefe show, had afternoon tea at the Delaunay. It was good to have life interrupted in that way. It’s easy to exist on automatic. And very tempting when to do otherwise requires you to engage with painful things about yourself and your life. However. it seems impossible to focus on the future and think creatively about it, without acknowledging the aching reality of now.

I think at times that life is OK. Often it is. But it’s also a life that has a major scar, a landscape that has a river of pain coursing through. Trying to marry the two is challenging. How can I find balance with those contradictions, let alone attempt to establish a good life?

There must be some way of course. Otherwise, no one would be able to experience catastrophe and go on to do something new. But I don’t really ‘get’ it yet. In stories, we see the episodes – the devastation, the determination to rebuild, the triumph, hopefully. But it’s the spaces in between these that interest me, the transitions that take place. How do we deal with death, or endings, or devastations, while tending to what’s emerging?

I’ve become more aware, recently, of the need to focus, to be intentional rather than wistful about what I want to achieve, what I want to happen. The next phase, is working out what to do to make it happen. It’s here where a lack of imagination matters most. I don’t find it easy to look ahead and feel hopeful. I’m not sure that I lack hope, rather I’m in a kind of neutral phase.

By the same token, I know I’ve done a lot and achieved a lot. But I also know that I could cruise along, live around this pain inside me, rather than confront it, and ask what needs to happen to make life good again?

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