Man, I would love to love him.
I say this often. Rather, I find I say this often to myself. When I see a man so rapturously beautiful–a man so intensely magnificent–so perfectly flawed–so unimaginably crafted–that there’s this spark of interest, striking love, that ignites somewhere within me. It’s a powerful moment, one that stops time and draws my eyes into his.
It’s less like love after the first second. It’s a longing and a yearning that’s so indescribably deep that it takes on a life all its own. It spirals scenes and storylines into an atmosphere rife with saturated imagination. It’s a want to be in love with him. It’s a want for him to be in love with me. It’s a want for more than that: A desire that somewhere stops just past wanting to be like him when you start to want to be him entirely.
Or take this: Sometimes, for a split moment, I move a muscle, catch a thought, and all the world changes. Suddenly I’m elsewhere. I’m on a mountain somewhere, running through the forest with a bow in my hands. I’m clutching the delicate wood as I jump between patches of twigs and leaves, chasing my foe down the hill. He stops at a cliff, grabbing hold of a tree to not fall over in his exhaustion. I nock an arrow and release it.
Another time I take a seat at my desk and I’m not me. I’m myself, but in another life. I stare at my work, running the equations through my head and then rifling through all the commands as I shape the structure in my head. I type a few words, then a few more, symbols that make no sense to the average man–but upon which every man finds himself relying. I hit a few more keys and then–wham–suddenly all these words are something else entirely. I attach the .exe to an email and send it in. My work here is done.
But it’s only just beginning.
It’s a trace of obsession in the everyday world. It’s both fantasy and illusion. It’s an arrant thought and an errant knight in green, stumbling into his own country where he’s elected king and later runs away after a kidnapped child to escape his history. It’s a Fae girl flying through the skies in a competition that pits racer against racer as spectators wait for the crash. It’s a young boy finding his friends around a camp fire, all of them meeting in secret.
It’s indescribable, really. There is no beginning to good imagination. Then again, there isn’t really an end.
It’s hard to capture what I mean by imagination, something like it would be hard to capture a strand of inspiration or the quick inhalation of breath when you see the person you’ve been waiting your entire life to see, just moments before you lose sight of him in the crowd and realise only a second has passed between your universe and mine.
To me, I can describe it graphically as the set of all points intersecting the line between reality and impossibility. It’s the curve between two unrelated points that shapes an adventure worth wanting. It’s the surface formed by rotating thoughts around their central axis and integrating the end product.
I can also describe it qualitatively, depicting a swift wind on an autumn day, a snowdrift or a tree covered in flowers, the light of the sun through prisms or the shadows of a stained-glass window. It’s the stars on a clear night, the fog on a misty morning, the reflection of a mirror–so similar, but not completely the same.
I love imagination. It’s an escape, but also an idealization: If I could reach into my favorite story, the one I long desperately to write, and simply pluck that one ring from its words, I would become a master of my own life. I’d split myself in six and have time to do each and every little thing I could think to do. I’d fly part of myself to Israel, another half to Brazil. Two would study, one would live, and one would play. I’d be everywhere but I’d remain whole. Like the components of a vector in six dimensions: Each of them is part of the others, but itself an individual.
Or if I would rather go for a swim, I’d dive in after Isaac and steal him from Wanda for a while, or if I’d rather drive through mysteries down a dark road, Dana’s always waiting. I might drive to visit Bill and Monroe, or to Keith and Pacey to play superhero (and trust me, they’re awaiting my return), or to the shore, to take a ship across the sea and sideways to find a man whose true name I might never know, or to watch the silver ships as they sail in from the sky.
There is no end. It’s as simple as that. I’m sitting here, trying to think where I’m going with this. But isn’t that the point? Inspiration is the point upon which imagination takes direction, but nothing can confine its magnitude. It can branch fractally or grow factorially, but it can never truly end. It’s the story that goes on forever. The legacy that is itself throughout time. The alpha and omega, the aleph and tav, the a and z–that doesn’t end there.
It’s a moment of obsession, but if you’re lucky, it doesn’t end in just a moment.
It’s the want for love and story that wants to bring itself to life. It’s the vicarious seeker that doesn’t know what he’s looking for. It’s the sword that kills the bane of boredom. And it’s so much more, so very much more.
And then there’s always more than that.