Don't you love the world of make-believe? I know I do. It's put me in a few bad spots over the years, but has also allowed me to create art and music, wild parties and events, and great life moments. Pretending is one of those things that requires presence and faith. You can't passively imagine something, and you can't go there without a bit of effort.
I was a child with a huge imagination. It could have come from a more rural hometown environment, or maybe some kids are just wired that way. I remember going into those worlds of elaborate details and playing for hours by myself. In springtime, the rhododendron plants under our Poplar trees became the most lovely bridal dress shop that I would weave my way through and become lost in the beauty. I could see a clearing in the meadow across from my house, and it became a Romantic glen with flower wound rope swings. There were abandoned house foundations that would become great dungeons and castles to battle warring crusaders. This was all about a 5-minute walk from my front door.
Well, I was happy to see in the last few weeks the gift of imagination had suddenly appeared in Riley's world. Literally overnight, she went from needing a lot more interactive play time to simply peeling off and talking to her dolls or her trains. She began setting up worlds with her blocks and then having her trains park on them in very specific ways while she checked in with her trains to see if it was all working to spec. Most of all, she would "disappear" in her own world, sometimes as close as 5 feet away from me in the room. It's an amazing thing to watch.
So where is my imagination these days?, I wondered. I know I still use it in the process of songwriting. I have a much more stable life in reality, so mining the freak shows and dark alleys of life isn't something I'm as prone to do these days. That said, I like to write from a more character perspective. Most of these voices have some anchor in my present or past, but the specifics are definitely the work of novel and poetry.
I suppose if I'm thinking outside the box, I use pretending when I jump into the world of acting. I've been playing a few moms and hosts and various other roles in auditions or improv that has been fun. I don't visit that world often, so it has its kicks too.
It's a good muscle to flex. I feel like it allows me a chance to try out new ideas and directions. With the motherhood-reinvention process, this comes in extremely handy.