Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

Unboxing Imagination

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I recently had a dream in which I took an item from an art show, draped it over my shoulders, and proceeded to dance with joy. Somewhere in that sleeping/waking stage, it occurred to me that I had become part of the art exhibit—although perhaps not in the way that the artist had intended. As I became more fully awake, I found myself wondering if God ever watches us and thinks, “I never would have come up with that particular use for this piece of my creation!”

Have you ever observed a young child take a household item and transform it into something new? Pots and pans become drums or helmets. A towel becomes the caped crusader’s cape. As children, our use of an item is only limited by our imagination. As we grow older, we become accustomed to asking what something is used for, and naturally limiting our use of it to what others tell us.

And yet…sometimes adults come up with new ways to use things. We call them researchers and inventors, or sometimes artists, or at other times, even crazy.

IMG_0140Sometimes I enjoy taking photographs that reveal patterns and shapes, but don’t necessarily reveal what the item is. This allows the imagination to take flight, to move outside the boxes that we adults tend to construct around our imaginations.IMG_0243

I invite you to move outside your boxes once in a while. Look at something with new eyes. Ask yourself how else it might be used, or just plain enjoyed. Don’t worry about what others are thinking. Literally or metaphorically, drape it around your shoulders and dance with joy.

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