Who said having a wild imagination is a bad thing?

“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.

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54 thoughts on “Who said having a wild imagination is a bad thing?

  1. You go, my wild & crazy Bella!!!! I love when your imagination goes berserk. And these shots are just wonderful. That second photo of the beach is soooooo painterly. Love it! (Was it early morning? No one is in the chairs…)

    1. Jann, I am honored that you like these shots! Indeed, it was quite early when I took the shot of the beach from the bus. I believe it was 9am to be exact and notice how I say quite early because when I’m on holiday, I rarely get up before ten! hee hee! Don’t let the empty chairs fool you. Spaniards are up at the crack of dawn reserving their spot on the ocean front. They then go home to eat breakfast! :)

  2. I LOVE THIS, Bella! I am a total people watcher, but I like to also make stories around those people I watch. hee hee hee. I used to have a “wilder” imagination back when I was a kid, I think, because I wrote tons and tons and tons of stories before. I wish I had that back, but I think I never lost it– I just need more practice ;)

    1. Laura, would you believe I carried a notebook and wrote stories about strangers and friends when I was young? Just like Harriet the Spy! hee hee! I don’t think you’ve lost your imagination. Like you mention, all you need is a little practice! Hopefully this post will nudge you in that direction. What do you say? ;)

    1. Belle, hear hear! I’m with you one hundred percent. Like you, I truly believe that an avid imagination is a gift that we should cultivate. People watching is the perfect activity for this! :)

  3. I love the beach shot also… and that you come up with stories for the people around you! I wonder what it is like to be them, but I don’t fill in the blanks like you do. Love it!

    1. Amy, I wonder if filling in the blanks is exactly what you do when you go to court. Our mind is forever working. I sometimes feel like I can’t shut my brain off even when I want to. Try to consciously make up a story of a stranger you meet on the street. I assure you that you’ll be creating his life story in less time than you think! :)

  4. I don’t say everything I think but I think a lot and it’s good sometimes and sometimes not. Other times, I like to have wicked fun imagining. It’s so much better than my hum drum real life that feels like I’m the elevator music is always playing. Just boring. Besides that, having an active imagination is healthy for the brain cells.

    1. Totsy, I have a hard time believing that you lead a boring life! Though I must admit that the elevator music anecdote had me chuckling! And you’re right–an active imagination is healthy for the brain! Hence our need to create wild scenarios! hee hee! :)

  5. Imagination is a good thing, I have a crazy one. But I love every minute of it. I’ve been harassed, too, and criticized for it, and used to feel very ashamed. That seems so ridiculous now! Now I allow it to bloom and engulf me, and take me away when I need it and solve my latest problem when I need it! At least I’ll never get dementia! That’s worth it in and of itself!

    1. Jodi, I’m so glad that you’ve come to realize just how silly it was for people to harass and criticize you for having a “crazy” imagination. I don’t know what those people were thinking but it seems crazy that they would engage in such heinous behavior. Good for you for realizing how vital our imagination is to the process of working things out and for keeping us mentally healthy! :)

  6. I think it’s our imagination that defines us as humans. I don’t think other animals have it. Hmmm… maybe elephants and whales do. Well, now I’m not sure about other animals. If they didn’t have imaginations they couldn’t alter their behavior to learn new skills.

    1. Parlance, alas, animal behavior is not my specialty, though how I wish it were! I do believe that language and our ability to exercise creativity distinguishes us from animals and defines us as humans. Nevertheless, when we think of how much fun it is to use our imagination, this is all that really matters! :)

  7. I love this Bella! The pictures did turn on my imagination. I have always indulged in my imagination and I love it. People watching has always been my favorite, sitting at a busy airport, a hospital, going on a train, Even an ambulance racing across with its sirens on gets my imagination running. Enjoyed it my friend.

    1. Rimly, I love to people watch! Riding on trains and buses provides the perfect opportunity to take a good look at fellow passengers and create their life stories. I love how you take advantage of everyday happenings to exercise your imagination! I’m delighted you enjoyed the post, my friend! :)

  8. What fun! I love the playfulness of the photos and the commentary that goes with them. It’s great that you have learned to love & embrace that part of you.

    How sad that our finest qualities are often denigrated. My kindergarten teacher expressed concern on one of my report cards about how quiet I was and how I preferred to play alone. What she didn’t know was that I was making up stories in my head! Even now, though I enjoy being around people, I need lots of solitude, and if I’m not writing, I get cranky.

    1. Oh Nadine, how sad that what happened to you in kindergarten still continues to happen with many young children today. I find that even when I love interacting with people, like you, I need solitude from time to time. I find it helps me gather my thoughts and allows me to call out to my muse uninterrupted. :)

  9. Smiles. I spend my extra time writing stories, mostly fiction, but since the blog I’ve moved over into creative non fiction. You’re right, some people do not understand the right brained person all the much. Most everyone has a story inside of him or herself, but most leave it there.. it takes work to pull it out, type if, or simply to hit the publish button. Well said, Bella. (cool spooky look, btw)

    1. Hi Brenda! Yes, the right brained folk seem to get the short end of the stick, it would appear. Sigh. What are we to do, amiga? I say continue what we’re doing and put our imaginative stories down on paper! I’m delighted you like the Halloween theme! :)

  10. Looooove this post. I day dream all the time, and have been living inside my imagination since I can remember. When we were kids, my little sister and I pretty much never stepped outside of our make believe world :)

    I love to make up stories and characters. Most of my colleagues think I’m bloody bonkers but honestly, I couldn’t live any other way!

    1. Ethel, and isn’t it wonderful to be “bloody bonkers”? If you ask me, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Methinks it makes us colorful, creative, imaginative, out of the box thinkers! By the way, the dynamic you shared with your sister was the same one I shared with mine. What am I saying? The one I still share! ha! :)

  11. I think it’s wonderful that you have a wild imagination, my friend. How else would you write?? And truly, this world would be a sad place without words! I imagine all sorts of scenarios, especially when I’m forced to wait (in traffic, in line, whatever). I also mentally move furniture and redecorate rooms, redesign articles of clothing, and listen in on other people’s conversations — all fodder for my writing, heehee!

    1. And what great fodder it is, Debbie! Oh my, are you the creative one! All the things you’re able to do proves the versatility of our imagination. After reading your list, I’m inspired to do some or all of these things. It’s time I changed the furniture in my living room and this may just be the best way to do it! ha! :)

    1. Oh, Kim, you beautiful lady, you! I too wonder what this handsome young man was thinking. I still can’t believe no one on the bus even noticed I was snapping their photo! ha! Kisses! :)

  12. Would you send me some imagination Bella? Mine died, and I haven’t been able to get a word out, let alone a cogent paragraph. Hence, no posts from me.

    I have – in the past, before my brain and imagination left me – been known to come up with a few doozies to get out of boring/unnecessary/I-dont’-wanna-go social situations. Loved yours 8).

    Great photos!

    1. Eloise, maybe this isn’t an imaginative drought. Maybe this is a prompt for you to write about non-fictional accounts of whatever is taking place in your life now! Photos can also help inspire a post. Come on, lady! Bring your camera out of hiding and get snapping! You can always do a picture post! :)

    1. Astra, you have such a great imagination, I find it hard pressed to think of a way that you could channel it any better. Your posts are full of creativity and boy do they make me giggle! I’m happy you liked the post and photos. Thank you, my friend! :)

  13. This is a fun post, Bella. I love your the stories you’ve assigned to these random people.
    Reminds me of my youth growing up in New York. When I was 13 my best friend and I would go into the city by ourselves, and I remember riding the bus through Manhattan and creating new identities for ourselves. We’d talk loudly so everyone could hear us about our tragic love affairs, parents who kept us apart and relatives who were mad. We’d create quite a stir, though maybe it was only in our heads, and had so much fun. My friend was a writer, too. Those were the best of times.

    1. Monica, I’m so happy you think so! Methinks you have to do a blog post about your trips to the city with your cousin! What a fun post that would be, my friend! Think about it! :)

  14. My imagination goes into my stories, the written and the unwritten ones. My kid brother said I was weird after reading my book (especially my version of Hansel and Gretel, where Gretel was, shall we say, disturbed, and believed a pig to be her brother Hansel, who was actually stillborn). I loved that comment! :)

    1. Ivana, I love that you have such a vivid imagination! As for the weirdness your brother claimed you have, you should have told him that you’re a writer–it comes with the territory! hee hee! :)

  15. Imagination, however wild it may be, its always unseen and always beautiful. So everyone loves imaginations. Things which can’t happen in reality is possible in imagination. And enjoyment is almost equal. So its a wonderful thing… I say.

  16. I love this Bella! It’s good to have imagination. My bf and I have a game that we play when out and about people watching, sometimes it’s the most hilarious thing, especially when you see people carrying the most random items! :) Wonderful photos! Have a great week! /Madisoin

    1. Madison, I love it when couples play games and the one you and your boyfriend play sounds delightful! I definitely have to create some new people watching games, lady! Thank you for your kind words. They make my heart smile! Have a great week! :)

  17. I’m with you, Bella. Since I was really young, I’d watch people and make up stories in my head.

    My dad would occasionally sit with me at the mall when my mom was dragging all of us clothes shopping and people watch, making up the conversations people were having. That could have something to do not only with my imagination, but also my sense of humor. :)

    1. Amber, what a dad, your father! I can only imagine the fun you must’ve had! My nana and I would people watch and comment on strangers who seemed interesting. They made for the best stories! :)

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