Anne of Green Gables: Imagination

What do people who haven’t any imagination do when they break their bones, do you suppose, Marilla?

p.227

Today, broken bones or no, they stare at their phones at the slightest hint of boredom. There is no “scope for imagination” as Anne would say. We can’t bear a dull moment; we dare not be alone with our thoughts. Endless scrolling, endless headlines, each moment brings more breaking news—because we let it. We crave it. The adrenaline of the next thing fuels a thoughtless mind. Anne’s question makes no sense today. 

But it should give us pause. Have we lost imagination? And have we lost the ability to sit with ourselves un-entertained by others or things? Is it because we are afraid of what we’ll find alone with ourselves and our thoughts? Is it alone and quiet where thoughts of meaning and purpose slowly rise to the surface? We have been told there is none of that—fundamentally. And so we entertain away the despair. 

But if there is an underlying sense of love and a higher purpose, the quiet can give way to imagination. Settled contentment gives rise to imagining other worlds and other vistas, time-passing entertainment that emanates from a greater depth than the shallowness of social media and the blather of the 24/7 news feed. 

What does one do with no imagination and a broken bone? What one does with no imagination and a healthy body: clamor to be entertained.

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