Imagination Should Never Be Wasted

Tanner - Cheney, Washington
Entered on May 11, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I’d never felt more alive than when I was gliding through the forest with my bow in my hand. My senses were attuned to their pea. I could see and hear things I’d never before noticed. I was keeping “guard” over the forest. From what, I still don’t know. What I do know is the shear excitement and pleasure I felt at doing something important, even if it was imaginary. Imagination is what keeps me going, what keeps me off the brink of insanity, and I hope to never lose this gift. So I practice often. Imagination should never be wasted, for it is that thing that makes us unique. One could never lose it, but very easily waste it away.

There are so many channels for imagination. Have we not all day dreamed? I believe we are all guilty of making up stories in our heads in our youth. In all honesty, I have had the same story going in my head for six years now, and it never gets old. Everyone sees the superhero movie and imagines themselves with some power thereafter. I do that with everything I see, read, or play. I AM a Jedi, as far as I’m concerned!

It breaks my heart when I see some of my peers “growing up” too fast, with claims that it is immature to think of such things, that their childhood is over. I have it in me to hold my tongue, buckle down, and do an honest day’s work. But I will always be a big kid and there is nothing wrong with that. There is a difference between being immature and having a child like spirit. I know I need to get my work done, and I am eager to go to college and begin my life. But does that mean I have to lock away everything from my childhood and throw away the key? Do we have to change our very being just to grow up? People need to find the existing line between maturity and imagination, or we’ll all go insane! At the end of the day, after my work is done and I have my essays written, I’m allowed to sit back and lose myself to a better world, and there is no reason why we all can’t do that.

For months I have been depressed, quite badly I might add, and I lost myself. Nothing, not tennis, not reading, not even my video games could get me out of this rut. Then one day my brother comes to me and asks me that awkward and questioning question, “My brother, would you be gay with me?” What the heck is this, you ask? Before I got ahead of myself, however, I was quick to respond, “Queer gay or….actually gay….?” Fortunately he answered just the odd, weird kind. With a sigh of relief, I sit down and listen to his plan to become a ranger, or outdoorsman with him. He proceeded to explain that he’d been reading “The Lord of the Rings,” and thought it would be “awesome” and “totally phat” to get way into archery and dress up with gauntlets and cloaks, and to watch over the fields and woods in my backyard. At the end of his exasperated offer, he once again asked, “Would you be a ranger with me?” Naturally, I answered “Absolutely yes I do!” ‘This could be just the break I need’, I thought.

And it was. Crashing through the trees, shooting at the invisible threats, watching and listening for signs of what I knew wasn’t there brought me back from the edge of despair. Finding purpose in the make believe made me feel like a kid again, free and without a care in the world. I still battle my depression, and often wonder if I’m getting to old for this “nonsense.” But when I step out into those trees with my bow across my back and my quiver at my hip, it all becomes clear. Imagination is what keeps me alive. It is with me, and with us all, forever. And if we waste it, we lose the very thing that makes us human. This I believe.