To Live is to Imagine… To Grow Up is to Imagine Less

August 2, 2007

I did a little experiment a few hours ago today. I laid down in my comfy chair [yeah, that comfy chair], and played a little game I haven’t played in years.

As a kid, whenever I wasn’t playing video games, watching TV, or reading [more so on the two former than the latter], I would create worlds in my head. Well, maybe not worlds. More like, novels. Really cheesy, corny, action novels with the main character being [who else?] me. The story would change weekly, depending on what movie I had seen most recently, or what book I had just read, or what video game I’d just rented from Blockbuster. [‘Batman was way cool, I want to be just like him!’ ‘Man, Breath of Fire II is so sweet, I wish I could be more like Ryu!’, etc.] But the general method and regularity of crafting these stories in my head remained more or less constant.

Until recently. I think I stopped this game around 7th or 8th grade. Just kind of out of the blue quit.

I couldn’t think of why. That is, until today. When I laid down and went for a test drive.

I started off with the [not proto]typical cheesy setting and plot. But every 10 seconds of imagining, a thought would pop into my head and interrupt me. Something really trivial, a la ‘Wow, this would make a decent blog post… Man, you should really get going on that Rocket Video… Do you really think that this is the best way to…’ Etc., etc., etc.

So, at some point around high school, the head started to get gummed up with ‘stupid shit,’ and I replaced my imagination with banal drivel.

I wonder if that’s just a part of growing up, or if it’s something reversible. Or if it’s something worth trying to reverse.

Good to know that I was more mentally spry as a youngster, though. I couldn’t ride a bike, do integral calculus, or write a big boring blog post, but damn if I couldn’t create a mind-movie like no other.



PS – As a pleasant side effect of this test drive, I drifted off to sleep several times. Now that was fun. Nothing like a nap to put you in a good mood. Though the getting up part isn’t quite as much fun…


2 Responses to “To Live is to Imagine… To Grow Up is to Imagine Less”

  1. dave in the back said

    Yeah… those were the good old days. Keep in mind, we played way more video games and seriously got into them. Without knowledge of how the world really works, it makes it easier to believe in things that don’t really happen. Like God. Haha… ohhh, that was too easy.

  2. Ed Anderson said

    One thing I find fun and still do occasionally is to do a kind of forced day-dream (which, by the sound of what you’re describing, is very similar).

    I kinda sit there and zone out. I do it to music in general (the radio works well) because I find that by letting part of my mind concentrate on the music, it’s _not_ concentrating on all kinds of stupid crap. And thus the other part of my mind uses the music as a sort of background and dreams away.

    It’s quite fun, and oddly enough it’s very rejuvenating.

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