Imagine… that incredible song of John Lennon’s. Now there is a beautiful, haunting melody and enticing words, encouraging human kind to explore a world which is just a bit different with everyone living together and enjoying the current moment. Pure magic!
I have thought a lot about Elisa’s music challenge (Imagine) and I have realised that the time people actively imagine (and do it a lot) is when they are reading. We read the words and create the pictures in our mind. Big bundles of white pages covered with tiny black type come to life and take us to places and times that may not exist anywhere on earth.
Clever authors and great musicians (like Lennon) are brilliant at writing words and music which capture our interest and then take us to these imaginary places. Lennon’s song is one of these lovely tunes which also conjures a mood of wistfulness and a hint of sadness.
A novel that captured the imagination of the world in a similar way to Lennon’s music was one that I first read in the early 80s. The book was written in sections, between the years of 1937 and 1949, so it had been around for a long time when I got to read it.
The author had lived in England and wrote while war raged around him – perhaps he needed to escape into his imagination to get away from the daily hardship. The author is one of my favorites: J R R Tolkien, and his book – well, Lord of the Rings!
I did not find the book an easy one to ‘get into’, but once I had navigated my way through a few chapters, I could not put it down! The story line is complex, yet fascinating! The reader is taken into a totally imaginary place called Middle Earth, and the many characters have a variety of unusual and fascinating names and characteristics. It is not a fairy story, yet elves feature. It is not an environmental story, yet the trees tell their tale.
It is an adventure story – a bold rendition which challenges the reader to engage their imagination at every turn.
Little did I know that this book was to feature so greatly in the lives of my children. They were fortunate to be young adults at a time when this book was turned into an immensely popular movie. It was mostly filmed in New Zealand which made it even better – it was made in a place which my children could identify readily with (NZ being such a close neighbour to us).
Where I had found the story a challenge to get into, my children and their friends had no such issues (they had a movie to help!). They avidly read the books and became totally engrossed in all three parts of the adventure. My sons patiently hand painted hundreds of tiny models and arranged them on dioramas depicting battles and scenes from the movie. My daughter was also captivated and all of us went off to see premieres of the movies (the day they were released!), we read and re-read the books and thoroughly enjoyed it all.
The imaginary aspect went one step further. One of my sons (JS) was fascinated by the 3 dimensional modelling which was used in many scenes in the movie (remember that Middle Earth had to be digitally enhanced and created – it does not actually exist!). JS has been a digital craftsman from a very early age, conjuring amazing images and videos for all sorts of projects. He dreamed of becoming a master craftsman in 3 dimensional modelling, and happily is now living his dream!
Our family lived with Lord of the Rings euphoria for a number of years.
What a happy, wonderful journey it was for all of us. Thanks to Tolkien’s incredible imagination and the skill of the movie makers to make it accessible to such a wide and diverse audience.
Imagination? Where would we be without it?
Do you have a special time or place (or occupation) where you use your imagination? Perhaps you would also like to participate in this great musical challenge. Visit Elisa’s blog Autumn in Bruges to get the details and to hear John sing his lovely song: Imagine.