Nurture imagination

Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2002

This Wednesday two people wrote in strong letters about the American Dream. Yes! Keep writing, both of you! One was a powerful story told by an anonymous prisoner about the traps of alcohol; the other urged positive action in place of America's excessiveness.

I can't help but think of imagination, in place of those excesses of alcohol and of culture. Imagination, supplied vitally in our arts and theater community. Imagination I also find farther on, in the great classical literature of, say, Shakespeare and Ancient Greece, and our culture is losing its grip on this literary past.

Hopefully I'm not speaking too broad and general (and am therefore mortally wrong, which often happens to those who only speak generally), but we need to and can, get beyond this Dionyssian state of highs and lows! Boredom, anxiety, depression, loneliness, addiction, are the excesses of our American Dream, after its initial highs. But here am I, not free of those states, but so young in reading and artistic development, but yet so vitally alive in my imagination! Nurturing and developing our imagination is the vision I see in response to those wonderful letters.

And to speak of specifics, in our local community: Go see Theatre in the Rough's "Trojan Women" and Perseverance Theatre's "Lost in Kubla Khan!" And to my Native community: Our arts need further development and freedom, and that includes sharing more knowledge to beyond our clan and race, and not locking the knowledge down. That means more venues, such as a young Tlingit man with unlimited creativity I know who raps. His name is John White.

Encourage these people, support our art, enliven our imaginations. It may be our only path to healing and survival.

Ishmael C. Hope

Juneau



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