“You have a wild imagination.”
The sharpness of our neighbor’s tone let me in on the fact that she didn’t think this to be a good thing.
Looking down at the mangled mess of what used to be carefully tended begonias, I grabbed my dog Princess and high tailed home.
I was seven years old.
As the years passed, my “wild” imagination developed the ability to get me out of many predicaments.
And the older I got, the wilder my imagination became.
Missed homework was the result of having to fly to Spain with my mother to take care of my aunt Rita, who lay stricken in a hospital bed with only a week to live.
Unreturned phone calls to boyfriends were excused with the unexpected death of my cat Butterball, who had had the misfortune of running in front of oncoming traffic.
Failure to show up for class was justified with acute pain caused by the onset of a severe case of lumbago.
My creativity knew no bounds and I delighted in elaborating embellished scenarios that served to get me out of situations that I deemed a waste of time.
Fast forward I don’t know how many years and now, while I may not use it to get myself out of trouble, my imagination continues to grow.
I believe imagination and creativity are timeless.
It matters not whether you are a child or an octogenarian, we all have the ability to exercise our imagination.
We might accomplish this by writing poignant poetry or inspiring stories.
In some cases, we might use it to get us out of a tedious work dinner.
Yet, whatever our reasons, we all have the ability of being imaginative; of being creative.
This summer, trips to a busy neighboring city meant tiresome hour-long bus rides.
Many times, these resulted in long naps that served to restore energy levels drained by the warm, Spanish sun.
Other times, they gave way to looking out the window and creating stories, situations, and conversations.
This activity also proved to be a speedy way to people watch.
However, given the moving bus only allowed for a few seconds to take in the scene, my imagination had to work faster.
Thankfully, traffic lights always gave me a bit more time.
They provided extended glimpses into the lives of passebyers.
A cyclist had strayed from his team while training for the World Tour.
Beach chairs had been set out on the beach for Lady Gaga and her entourage.
People waited outside of an old movie theater to watch a dubbed version of “ET.”
A couple filled jugs of water from a public fountain because the water company had suspended their service.
The group of people outside of a hotel were extras in a soon to be released Pedro Almodovar film.
When the scene outside didn’t prove to be interesting, I took to snapping photos of fellow bus travelers.
I imagined what they were thinking, dreaming, or worrying about.
Yes, when our neighbor Mrs. Willet told me I had a wild imagination, I don’t think she realized just how true her words were.
And this time, I’m not apologizing for it.
How do you exercise your imagination and creativity?
Note: These shots were taken from a moving bus or while sitting just a couple of feet from fellow travelers.