Birth of Imagination

For Writer’s Island prompt #9  Imagine

Last time I was here, I spoke to the constancy of change and the curves we encounter on each of our journeys. I headed into a big curve on Monday morning and have been riding its edge ever since. I couldn’t have imagined where it would eventually take me, because it brought me full circle and dumped me out tired, but shaking my head, grinning and saying, “Whew, what a ride, and can we do that again? Soon?”

I have to admit, I steer clear of roller coaster rides, and this one mostly took place on paper, but still made me gasp repeatedly and wonder at the level of my own sanity for ever stepping into that little bucket and listening for that click that says that flimsy little lock is actually engaged.

It was a hell of curve, high off my normal ground (I’m terrified of heights), and done at speed (don’t much like speed either, unless I’m in the driver’s seat). Although nominally, I was in the driver’s seat, it all felt a tiny bit out of control (okay, so I’m a control freak, like everyone else, but Julia Cameron aside, I didn’t put on the psychic brakes).

Here’s the image, and did you know that the word imagine is really two words: image, and the suffix -gine, which comes from genium, meaning begetting, and that means that imagine actually means begetting images? Now there’s a hell of an image.

Two words find themselves alone in a dark corner, and decide to tangle amidst lots of touching and feeling, exploring, sweating, grunts and groans. One word walks away satisfied, but the other one starts swelling, gets awkward, can’t settle down because it now has strange hungers and hormonal cravings, almost blows up, and ends up on a metal table, legs spread, contracting and convulsing until it finally pushes out a panoramic.

Sorry about that, got a bit distracted. Where was I? Oh yes, the image. There I was, walking slowly (have to because of age and disability), pretending that my cane is a beautifully hand-carved walking staff,  down a sun-dappled country lane with a curve up ahead. I blink my eyes (only once, I swear), and suddenly I’m doing 70 miles an hour, white-knuckling a steering wheel on a six-lane super highway. Oh shit!

The real problem is that I don’t have a clue where I am, let alone what the destination might be. Like the song says, “Just gotta trust imagination (I love Peter Gabriel)”, and that means I have to trust my own intuition as far as knowing I’m in the right lane, headed in the right direction, and will get wherever I’m supposed to be-getting to (there’s that word again).

I wrote a poem. Just that simple. Only it wasn’t. I was doing my normal thing, following the words. How was I supposed to know that this funny little poem was really a panoramic? And let me tell you, those little buggers don’t come easy. But, intuition said, “Go.” And imagination said, “Why the hell not?” So it all got done and I am feeling immensely satisfied.

Sure, there are a few after-birth pangs, a bit of discomfort that will fade quickly, but that’s what happens when one listens to ones intuition and allows imagination to give birth. Take it from a mother of four, grandmother of seven: the sweat, the grunting and groaning, and all the pain are instantly forgotten in the glow of that satisfaction.

The forgetting, and the remembering, are the very reasons that anyone would even consider doing it again, and then again. That holds true for any birth, even the birth of imagination.

Note: Many of you have read the poem mentioned here. I’d like to thank all of those who commented. And for those of you who haven’t read it, but might be interested, it’s located at


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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24 Responses to Birth of Imagination

  1. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, very interesting philosophies. I enjoyed reading them. One does indeed have to use imagination to give birth to many things in life – any artistic creation. And yes, even children! Where would any of us be without imagination?

    Sometimes ‘giving birth’ to a piece of writing is painful, but when it is birthed, one does forget the pain, not unlike childbirth. Nice writing, Elizabeth!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Hi Mary,

      glad you came and read. I have met individuals who actually believe they don’t have a creative bone in their body, and when I ask them if they have an imagination, they swiftly nod and say that yes, they do. Yet, don’t seem to understand that imagination is always where creativity begins. The two walk hand and hand together. I do believe that’s the way it is meant to be. Allowing oneself to create, seems a bit to me, like allowing imagination to give birth. I was surprised at what I wrote here, because I write off the cuff. And this seemed a lot like the stream of consciousness writing for the prompt we did this past week. It certainly felt like a release. Am just glad that someone read it and understood.

      Thank you, again,


  2. Mary says:

    Yes, I understood, Elizabeth; and thanks for responding to my poem as well. By the way, I am another “cheese head.” Lived in GB for 2 years in Bart Starr’s years. Check my comments in Stan’s blog.

    • 1sojournal says:

      Mary, I could, if I allowed myself, wax poetic on cheese. But, then there is all of that ice cream as well, which lucky for all of us, usually leaves me in a fugue state and utterly speechless, lol.

      And I’ll check out Stan’s blog.


  3. A wild experience! And the birth of imagination has a habit of wanting a re-birth too!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Hi again, Gemma,

      actually this essay, if that’s what one might call it, was an even wilder ride. The Call poem was sedate in comparison. I’m thinking that when one looses those imaginative restraints, one perhaps has a tiger by the tail. Good thing I have a tiger in my personal mythology, he usually walks sedately and remembers that I simply can’t move all that fast anymore.

      And the thought of re-birth is really quite exciting, isn’t it?

  4. Very clever, Elizabeth! I love how you broke down the word ‘imagine’. Exceptionally prepared!

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thanks Diane,

      the breaking down of the word is an old habit and the teacher in me peaking out to wave a finger at preparedness and coherency. Have to let her out on occasion or risk the chance of not being understood at all, lol.


  5. Stan Ski says:

    Found it… it was there all along.
    Still thinking…

    • 1sojournal says:

      he he he, Thank you Stan for returning to the scene of the crime. Maybe if you played a bit of football with a couple of the words, one would swell and help you out of that thinking predicament. No offense, but I seem to be in a rather punchy sort of mood this evening. Ameretto and orange juice over ice sounds really good, but this natural high is just a bit too exhilerating to mess with. Hope you got the winner you wanted,


  6. anthonynorth says:

    Great depth to this. Enjoyed it.

    • 1sojournal says:


      Great depth? Oh boy, think I’m going to have to build me another kudo box to keep all of this in. Good thing I have a scar on my skull and a steel pin in my brain to remind me that swelled heads are a very dangerous thing.

      Thank you, much and more,


  7. vivinfrance says:

    My comment on your poem site says it all. I gave both the prose and the poem to my friend and she was pretty overwhelmed, as I had been. It will be a long time before I forget these.

    • 1sojournal says:


      I’m fairly certain that most of us write so that we will not be forgotten, or that our words will find meaning in someone else’s soul. Two for one and all in the same day! This old bucket is overflowing, thanks to you and your kind words. Be very careful or I could get almost mushy and that’s not a good image, or a panoramic, lol.


  8. pamela says:

    Elizabeth unforgettable words you have written here.
    I love the etymology of the word imagine.
    Super write!

    • 1sojournal says:


      I think that little word panoramic may come back to haunt me sometime in the future. But it certainly was fun in the process. I love word etymology and was actually going to write about the inner engine that manufactures images. Then looked up the word and hit the curve at speed, lol.

      Thanks for reading and commenting,


  9. totomai says:

    it has a cyclic feel, just like life — continuing to witness birth, the pain and joy it brings. that is the physical birth and i love the undertone of the metaphorical birth injected here

    • 1sojournal says:

      Thank you totomai,

      allowing our imagination to give birth can easily cause havoc, or be a step in evolution, our own and the world’s. That’s why and how we continue. Hope you have a good week,


  10. annie says:

    Oh Elizabeth. I aspire to this. I so aspire. I could expire from this need to aspire and reach and grasp and hold on to such a gift for words. I have time now; all the time in the world to challenge myself and – aspire.

    • 1sojournal says:


      before you exspire, please remember to breathe. Slowly. You give me a very high compliment and I thank you for that. However, me thinks you might have looked up the word aspire and know its most basic meaning. All I can say is stay on the page, everyday, and eventually the words will take you to the me that only you can be.

      My site is especially geared toward writing and staying on the page. It’s a lot of what I taught, when I was teaching. I miss that part of my life.

      Thank you again for reading and commenting, and most definitely for your eagerness.


  11. Aine says:

    I like your analogy – very poignant. I also went and read your poem – it is one of those that sinks into your gut and won’t let go. Loved it. 🙂

  12. 1sojournal says:


    I think both the poem and essay were the result of a lid being blown off of something that was suppressed for a very long time. I can only be grateful that the boiling point was reached and the resultant explosion was somehow contained, and not too messy.

    Thank you much for your kind and generous words,


  13. Clearly, given where I’m coming from, I’m completely on-board with ‘imagination’ being a vital piece to creating. It’s nice to see that there are others out there who share this sentiment. 🙂

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  14. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you for stopping, reading, and commenting. It’s always nice to know that there are others who feel, and perhaps, think along the same lines.


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