What is pictured in the photo above? You may say it’s a cloud and I would say the same. Hey, I’m honest. However, if I’d been asked the same question ten or fifteen years ago, I would have insisted that it was a bunny. Not a cloud, a bunny. There would have been no convincing me otherwise. I credit this retroactive insistence to my then-vivid imagination. But when I look at the image now, I see nothing but a cloud.
Sure, a lot has changed in ten or fifteen years. I’ve grown up, I have responsibilities and bills and life insurance. Yes, life insurance. But it’s not as though I’ve been forced to give up my imagination. It’s just been pushed aside, buried underneath layers and layers of other attention-occupying activities. And did I mention life insurance?
Long story short: I want my imagination back.
Although TV and movies are great, imagination can provide an escape from reality that doesn’t depend on outside stimuli. But the only situations in which I use it nowadays are when it’s either really hot or really cold outside, and I picture myself in a place of the opposite climate. Though effective, it’s more of a utility than anything else.
So here’s what I want to know: how do I reclaim the imagination I had when I was younger? Is it even possible? I think of it as being something that’s unforced, so I’m not quite sure how to exercise it, so to speak. I know it may not be the same as it was – in fact, it probably won’t be – but it’s certainly worth a try.
While I’m trying to find my own imagination, here are some great, imaginative shows and videos I’ve been watching recently.
1. Adventure Time, on Cartoon Network, is one of my new favorite TV shows. It’s a great combination of silly, smart, and strange. The two main characters are Jake (the dog) and Finn (the human), and Jake is a shape-shifter. If that’s not enough to sell you on it, I don’t know what is.
2. Brad Neely has three excellent web series, The Professor Brothers, Baby Cakes and China, Illinois, the third of which makes its Adult Swim debut on October 2nd.
3. BriTANicK, a New York based sketch comedy duo, produces some of the best videos on the internet. The whole internet. In fact, it was very difficult to select only one example to present, so here are two!