Browsing my archive in search for what might become an upload I came across the photograph above that I took in November 2009. It was one among other stuff I keep in a group labeled “failures”. A quick glance at the original shot would reveal nothing interesting other than some flowers and a butterfly or what looked like one, all set against a lifeless wall made of dust-colored bricks with the in-between cracks being loosely stuffed with cement. This is how it looked when I first downloaded it from my camera last year.
This time there was something new to perceive. While the wall represented impediments hindering or slowing down progress in my life, the flowers and the butterfly bore resemblance to good things: Making friends online and exploring new depths in terms of human relations, enjoying thrilling novels, photography, Flickr, an exciting movie, a lovely song…etc in the time when everything around was not only frustrating but in many times saddening, sometimes seriously!
Realizing that life is far more complicated than a mutely flat wall to speak for and that those impediments had to be felt in some way or another…that hours, days and weeks are never the same and that the ups and downs carry us, we like it or not, from one stage to the next and the next, I sat down with my friends the laptop computer and Adobe Photoshop with a new vision in mind: Writing all that down in a legible and perhaps funny photographic language.
I thought of transparent or nearly transparent columns of somehow different widths to stand for those days and weeks. Now for the columns to play their assigned roles each would be given a particular layer mode and/or opacity level different from the adjacent, to speak in “photoshopic” terms with the varying widths referring to the seriousness of the situations. In this way they would lighten up at times and darken at other times, get wider, that is to say easier now and become narrower, that is harder shortly after…appear refreshing at stage A then depressing at B. Rhythm is out of control as harmony intersects with chaos…the common with the irregular…the predictable with the unexpected!
Gradually and inadvertently I found myself engaged in a world where fancy overlaps with real life and the work started to put on a garment different from being a nearly duplication of some other works intended to shed light on the here and now of my life.
From that point the entire attempt became secondary and even trivial to what my mind was now trying to crack: IMAGINATION!
Searching the net for some info several months ago I remember I was more than astonished to know that Jules Verne, a capable French author wrote in 1865 “De la Terre à la Lune” (From Earth to the Moon) and that H.G. Wells, that brilliant British novelist whose “Kipps” I studied at high school did publish his scientific fiction “The First Men in the Moon” in 1901. The idea that the two great men had such admirable talents to conceive of such great ideas DECACEDS before NASA was impressively capable of replacing the word “fiction” with “Fact” proved to me how great achievements could be traced back to some daring dreams of brilliant people.
Now that I had something more serious to busy my mind with, I ended the amusing dialogue I was having with Mr. Photoshop, shut down the computer and started a new mental journey.
What occurred to me next had its roots in the book of Genesis. “God saw all that he had made – and it was very good!” Genesis 1:31 it was so clear now that our God, the most genius and the most creative ever, had that trait: Imagination or the ability to imagine things even before they come into existence. He saw all that he had made and it was very good!!! Where does that lead? Doesn’t it mean that the most brilliant designer, the most creative engineer ever had mental sketches? designs? Perhaps even prototypes that He worked on over what “we” regard as “giant periods of time”, resulting in what we now call “evolution”? For me it is certain that all were in His creatively creative mind long before He decided to roll up His sleeves for hard work! Having finished the creation and now examining His marvelous masterpieces I can imagine Him admiring the fact that whatever He did did exactly match His earlier visions (imaginations) and as if saying “All our calculations were so accurate… all designs so perfect…ALL IN ALL IS SO GREAT”…
Now what does that have to do with you and me? Well, we, human beings, are said to fall under the “Animal Kingdom” category. A scientific theory that held and will continue to hold true as long as we have our “mental eyes” wearing the glasses of materialism and as long as we keep examining “only” our “physical” existence and that under the microscopic lens of our hi-tech biolabs. Genius, creative and open-minded like Sir. Charles Robert Darwin we might be regarded yet with our perspectives still imprisoned within the boundaries of “traditional scientific criteria”…the jailor that would never permit that we look beyond the visible and/or perceivable worlds of MATTER.
Based on the assumption that we are highly ranked or superbly developed animals we then have to compare ourselves to our less developed siblings and see where would that lead. Animals do think indeed, some of them are so clever; they use tricks, even improvise maneuvers to communicate, compete with one another and survive. But can you tell me of an animal whose patterns of thinking have ever proved to be creative enough to compete with and conquer us humans? I’m sorry my friends but we are “unique” and that “missing link” will never be found in my opinion simply because it never existed!
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness,…” Genesis 1:26. In the image of God? After His likeness? How? Tall or short? Slim or pudgy? Dark-skinned or Caucasian white? Don’t think I’m joking…some and I say “some” people in the part of the world where I live would see it this way!!! But it is so obvious. There is no code here to decipher and the entire idea is so easily grasped: to be made in the image of God and to be created after His own likeness is to bear the divine genes of the Creator, among which is the ability to imagine, spiritually speaking of course.
I know that for that “some” of the people what I say here falls under blasphemy. Now what I really believe I’m doing is glorifying God who planted in us that remarkable holy likeness in order that we become like the Creator: creative! What sin did after was that it brought “dirt” which in turn drove the “holy” out of the human entity…now that’s another story but what I mean is that I believe that the credit for whatever honorably impressive and admirably creative along recorded history of mankind belongs to Him, Elohim who decided to make us in His image, to create us after His likeness…hallowed be His Name for ever and ever… Amen!
Following is a bunch of quotes on “imagination” and for my new friends I’d stress that by putting my own quotes among those by great people I’m not counting myself as one of them. I’m a humble person but only with some vision to share.
“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them” by Pablo Picasso
“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night” by Edgar Allan Poe, "Eleonora"
“Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’ And then do it” by Duane Michals.
“Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun” by George Scialabba
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” by Henry David Thoreau
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed” by Albert Einstein
“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought” by Albert Szent-Györgyi
“To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted” by George Kneller
“I believe in the imagination. What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see” by Duane Michals, Real Dreams
“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge” by Tuli Kupferberg
“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” by Jamie Paolinetti
“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’” by George Bernard Shaw
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.” By Jesse Jackson
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” By Albert Einstein
“Imagination is the first step towards achieving the impossible for it has the power to release God’s image implanted in us all, humans” By Salwan Binni
“If you are still dreaming, if your mind is capable of imagining beautiful things then forget about impediments and know you are on the right track. Imagination is the early manifestation of the upcoming uprising. It indicates the urge in our minds to rebel against the reality, hence to create a better one” by Salwan Binni
“Imagination is the mother of all arts, without it human civilizations would have withered and died out long long ago” By Salwan Binni
“The first secret behind creativity is imagination…then follow persistence, discipline, hard work and maybe luck” by Salwan Binni
“Imaginations make up the daydreams of the genius. Once they are materialized, we ordinary people, get to call ‘breakthroughs’” By Salwan Binni
Have a great time everybody! God bless!
Tagged: , God , man , Elohim , Genesis , Darwinism , Evolution Theory , The Missing Link , Charles Robert Darwin , Jules Verne , De la Terre a la Lune , From the Earth to the Moon , H.G. Wells , The First Men in the Moon , NASA , Salwan Binni , digital photography , Adobe Photoshop , imagination , quotes on imagination.