“Without new visions, we don’t know what to build, only what to knock down. We not only end up confused, rudderless, and cynical, but we forget that making a revolution is not a series of clever maneuvers and tactics, but a process that can and must transform us.” – Robin D. G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

Some friends and I have recently been engaged in a captivating project – imagining where we might want to build homes, raise children, and build deeper community. It’s a wild and crazy experiment and conjures up all sorts of questions and possibilities.

Part of this process has entailed walking around uncultivated properties for sale. Considering how to align the homes to maximize sun exposure for solar gain. Or where a road could be paved, or water lines or electricity brought in. Or how to prioritize common spaces to reinforce community rather than individualism.

This experimental exploration uses my mind and experience like nothing else I do in my days. It is challenging and also exhilarating.

My friends and I may never move anywhere, or build anything, but I’m enthralled with the way my very atrophied imagination is being reactivated. If nothing else, I am reconnecting neural pathways for dreams and possibility and potential.

Maybe the feeling is some colonialist Manifest Destiny DNA getting conjured up inside of me. Mostly it feels like the thrill of daring to imagine that life can be tweaked and twisted and reimagined, which I recognize is a great privilege.

You’ve heard me talk about imagination before: here and here. And Meck has quoted Walida Imarisha: “Once the imagination is unshackled, liberation is limitless.” So, so true.

I don’t know what captivating projects you’re engaged in, but I hope your imagination is alive. I pray that you have something liberating your imagination the way walking around barren land is working for me. May it be so!


image credit: Donnie Nunley