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The World is Larger than your Imagination

I am in full autumn fan girl mode right now.

Early October oak leaves in Maryland. Credit: Anna O'Brien

Pumpkins: bought. Pie: made and eaten. Constantly thinking about new cozy hobbies for dark, cold nights inside: constant.


But it's not winter yet. With the leaves turning into cathedral windows, the weather is perfect for exploring. Crisp in the morning, warming up by afternoon. I'm also gearing up to start a new writing project, so I'm looking for inspiration at every corner, with everything I read and hear. It's time to dial the imagination up to level 11.


And with that, here's another, somewhat humbling quote from Rebecca Solnit, in A Field Guide to Getting Lost:

What is the message that wild animals bring, the message that seems to say everything and nothing? What is this message that is wordless, that is nothing more or less than the animals themselves---that the world is wild, that life is unpredictable in its goodness and its danger, that the world is larger than your imagination? . . . the best writing appears like those animals, sudden, self-possessed, telling everything and nothing, words approaching wordlessness. Maybe writing is its own desert, its own wilderness.

Writing as a desert. I like that.


Understanding that the world is larger than your imagination. I like that, too. A subversion from what we're told as children by well-meaning adults: your imagination is limitless, the sky is the limit, etc., etc. Well. Doesn't that all seem a bit overwhelming? Better to think yourself a small, wonderful piece to a much larger whole. Then let it feed your imagination. Let it tell you everything and nothing. Be the earpiece. Then make something new from it. I like that.


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