What would you be?”

A stranger recently posed this one.  Anyone who knows me would know better. They wouldnt even consider asking, because they know I am scared of fish, and thus, imagining myself as a sea creature would be pretty much the worst sort of torture. And also, that hypotheticals of this type are annoying in the extreme and no one I consent to hang out with would ask such a stupid question.

However, when I refused to answer it for the person who did not know better, he did have a follow up question that set me thinking about something that was worth considering. He asked if I didn’t like hypothetical questions, did that mean I was unimaginative. And I realized, that yes, indeed, it sort of does.

 I think about things, in obsessive detail, but rarely make things up in my head. I am reflective, rather then generative, in most cases. I feel I am a good critic, in that it is a pleasure for me to asborb and weigh the work of another; to turn it over in my head and try to see it from all angles, inside and out. I like to play with language and thoughts, but mostly as an atrifact of something I have already taken in from elsewhere. The only “art” I even come close to feeling any chance of making decent is photography, but even that, deals often in concrete and I draw inspiration from observing what is not by conjuring what does not yet exist.

I do not however, as his question implied, say this in the vein of admitting this as a shortcoming. I think it is simply a matter of fact that some people are better at creating their own reality and then expressing it to others through various mediums, and others are better at interpreting the realities they encounter and functionalizing them. I happen to be of the latter stripe, but know damn well both are needed for a fully realized and satisfying creative endeavor to thrive.

I do not suffer from my failure of imagination; it just leaves me with the space to better appreciate what can be born of someone else’s.

Imagination III By realityDream from DeviantArt.com