This I Believe -Cody Turner

This I Believe

I believe in the power of imagination.    I believe that it opens the door to truth.  We are all here, alive, hidden under some mysterious sky, swimming through the star-infested ocean of space.  Look around you; reality is not exactly rational.  Reality is but a deep chaotic ensemble of beauty.   And when thinking about it, our imaginations are of the same nature. It is only sensible then to approach reality not with reason or education, but with imagination.

I have not always held such a belief.  I used to accept the voice of society as being the truth.  It was not until I escaped that nagging voice of reason that I was able to exercise my own imagination.  The summer before my brother went away to college, my parents took us to Hawaii for a vacation. We stayed at a roomy resort that stretched out across the beach overlooking the water.  At night my brother and I would venture out and absorb the cool Hawaiian night, sauntering around the pool in pursuit of other adolescents who were also sauntering.  The balconies of all the rooms were visible from our position at the pool. It wasn’t until the third night that I noticed not only the balconies, but also the people sitting in them. 

Over the past half-century, Hawaii has become a retreat for newly-weds, so it wasn’t a coincidence that couples occupied most of these balconies.  Upon first examining these couples, I was taken aback by their silence.  It was 9:30 p.m on a Tuesday night and all of these new lovers were lingering high up in the shadows, comforted only by the soft music of candlelight.  I felt dull, for I had always associated Hawaii with liveliness, and fire spitting, and wild extravaganzas on the beach.  Under the widening darkness, the night felt like stone.  Thinking rationally, I was about to retreat to the promises of slumber. 

But then it happened. Under the sagging crystal moon, away from the voices of daily life, my imagination took flight.  I imagined the couples in the half-darkness whispering soft notes of love to each other.  Each balcony then became a secret cave of human love.  I looked at the full-throbbing moon hanging idly over the ocean and imagined that it was caressing the night waves in an effort to calm them from their hurrying fright.  I gazed dreamily at the stars and imagined other humans gazing dreamily at the same stars with the same curiosity.  I, in a single instance, transported my mind to the top of the sky, and looked down on myself in the courtyard, examining my place in existence.  Other beings, soft whisperings of human love, the generosity of nature, and my own reflective thoughts all crowded the sea air.  The night was no longer dull.  I cuddled with the darkness and took silent refuge under the moon. In that lingering silence, I felt that I understood more than I have ever understood in my whole life. 

Believe it or not, education and reason do not lead us to true understanding.  For it was my educated mind that instilled the expectation of liveliness within me.  It was that expectation that led to the feeling of dullness.  It was reason that was telling me to go to bed; it was my imagination that unlocked the truth and allowed me to see the beauty of that night.  Imagination is truly the only thing deep enough to penetrate reality.  I will never regret staying up late on that Hawaiian night.  For that night allowed me to realize that there is so much more behind what education and reason allow us to see.  It allowed me to realize that the best way to approach this chaotic ensemble of beauty that we call reality is with the imagination.