“It is hard for us to imagine what we cannot see.” ~ Sally Ride
Yes, and yet we must imagine. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with centering my time and attention on the world so many of us are working hard to create. I imagine it tirelessly — it has become almost a prayer. That world right around the corner whose breath Arundati Roy hears.
Lately, I seem to have lost my passion for — or even interest in — social change. Why spend any time changing a dead set of systems that were never meant for most of us? I’d much rather spend my precious time and vital force working toward something I cannot see, but can only imagine; something that emerges from wholeness and our deepest heart’s desire.
These days I’m listening for transformation where we move not from vanilla to chocolate, but from vanilla to music! I’m willing to take great leaps of faith, to be foolish, wasteful, and extravagant in my imagining. It’s the only way I can see that will get us through and beyond our current moral and political morass.
Why not dare to imagine? It’s terrific fun, makes many things possible that weren’t otherwise, and vastly increases my appetite for engaging the world. During the past several weeks of deep imagining, I’ve simultaneously removed my gaze from the dead and rotting mess of our current national “leadership.” I have to say that I am significantly more resilient, creative, and immensely happier as a result. This is a space from which I can authentically and whole-heartedly lead.
Some might say that this is pie-in-the-sky dreaming. Perhaps it is, but it is deeply rooted in and from my black woman’s wisdom born of many years of lived experience. I know in my bones that it is time to turn my attention away from anything that saps our spirits, kills our children, rapes our lands, or robs us of our humanity. I am no longer willing to spend my time attending to a system which never intended for most of us to survive, let alone thrive.
Even those of us who are working deep in the belly of the beast (and I so appreciate those who are) need time to rest, dream, and envision this fast-approaching world. All of us deserve respite from the soul killing work of living in a toxic and hate-filled political and social arena. Imagining is not mere whistling in the dark: it is a potent act of transformation and world building. It is the process by which we locate our north stars and find our way to liberation.
I invite you to join me out on this fertile field of possibility! We have nothing to lose, everything to gain, and I have a strong notion our children’s children’s children will sincerely thank us for it.
From my heart to yours,