I tried to get started today on a children’s story of a girl sleeping in an elegant dollhouse, an image I had in a dream awhile back that has stayed with me. But I felt extremely critical of what I wrote. I had to stop…for now. Let it breathe, let the criticalness soften—fall away.
This morning I picked up Anne of Green Gables and began re-reading it. Hearing the narrator talk about Green Gables itself and Anne’s imaginativeness and pluck made me cry. Really cry. I realize how important the imagination is to us all, how we need places like Green Gables to visit; it isn’t just an escape but an extension of everyday reality. In this context, Green Gables represents an innocent ideal that also exists in this world. Of course, it means a great deal to me that the author of this story happens to be a fellow Canadian—L. M. Montgomery.
I have a great need to write such stories for others and myself. I have to keep alive this possibility of going beyond the everyday. The potholes we get stuck in. The bumps in the road. Without the imagination, we’re nothing. I don’t think courage, will, or insight mean much without the imagination, by which I mean the capacity to dream of better worlds, to allow other worlds to enter us. To create out of our own imaginations something no one has seen before. New vistas. Unlimited possibilities.
I also was moved by Anne’s feistiness and the way she used her imagination to survive. This ability allowed her to endure awful circumstances as an orphan. And it’s what allowed me to transcend my childhood.