Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire. You will what you imagine. And at last you create what you will. – George Bernard Shaw
It could be suggested that I have something in common with R. Kelly – in that I really did once believe I could fly. There I was, nine years old and convinced I could be the first bird woman. I coerced under threat of death kindly asked my cousin David to snatch a few of his dad’s raspberry canes, some string and a sheet of plastic so that construction of my wings could begin.
The great day arrived when I was going to fly. My launch pad was to be the apple tree overlooking Uncle Percy’s vegetable patch, so David climbed up with me to assist in strapping on my wings and carry out the final aerodynamic checks. As I prepared to launch, David gave me a massive shove into the air and I began to flap as I leapt into space. What I wanted was to do a couple of swooping acrobatic manoeuvres, what I actually got was to drop like a stone and fall on my face in the cabbage patch – resulting in a badly sprained ankle, and subjected to the near apoplectic ire of Uncle Percy, upon discovery of the wanton destruction of his brassicas …
But I wasn’t deterred – I looked on my failed flying ambitions as a mere blip and far from being the end of my inventiveness – though, probably best not for me to go into too much detail about building a dam to make the river flood a field so the sheep would not have so far to travel to water. Or the time I purloined some of granddad’s paint so that I could construct a hedgehog highway by painting little footprints along the road outside of our house (they lasted for an age … but not as long as granddad’s annoyance every time someone mentioned them …).
Then it all came to a grinding halt. Somewhere around my late teens my boundless imagination hit the solid wall known as life itself. I stopped creating and just go on with the job of getting through every day.
We all have dormant periods but mine lasted about twenty years, until I realised that we all need to create, because it means we have something tangible at the end of our moments in time. When we produce something, it tells the world that we are here, and what we have created becomes our calling card.
It matters not a jot what we choose to create, or how seemingly insignificant we may feel it is, for it the very act of producing something from our imaginings that means our contribution to our own lives and those around us can be priceless.