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On Imagination + Curiosity

On imagination and curiosity. Staying open to the world.

One of the things I miss about the faith of the first half of my life is the certainty. Sure, confident, ordered, framed. It was always possible to know what was right and wrong. I knew myself, my place in the world, my eternal life with God. I knew what to think, how to vote, what was right in marriage, raising children, sexual ethics, my calling and service. All neatly tied up in a bow. Until it wasn’t.

Gently, slowly pulling on a thread that will cause the whole fabric to unravel doesn’t sound like a violent act, until you realise what you’ve done. Like uncracking eggs, going back and putting it all together isn’t possible.

Over time, I recovered from the dislocation and the grief* and found ways of talking about all I had lost. I didn’t reconstruct my faith but found instead, that imagination and curiosity are powerful conduits of joy and contentment. Curiosity allows us to see other people. In the same way the question, ‘are you listening to hear or preparing to speak’ – decentres us in group conversations, curiosity causes us to tilt our heads, invite a new perspective without judgement or the need to change others or bring them over to our way of seeing and being.

Curiosity has allowed me to explore the ways others practice their faith and spirituality. Imagination has allowed me to explore my own as it has matured.

Imagination is permission giving, it has no hard edges or limits to what I can create, who I want to be, how I want to show up in the world. It frees me to stay open, to ‘transcend and include, include and transcend’ as Ken Wilbur writes about. We can change and evolve without needing to burn down what came before or discredit those still with fully formed garments and uncracked eggs.

Imagination and curiosity free us for liberation and love as Dante Stewart’s quote expresses so beautifully.

You may have already downloaded Melancholy, the Easter excerpt from The Sentimental Non-Believer. You can get the whole story from my website here.

*I write about grief in my story as well as here in the Hyssop + Laurel interview I did recently.

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Download 'Melancholy': an excerpt from "The Sentimental Non-Believer."

Melancholy is a reflection on the way Easter used to feel and how it feels now.