Fantasy as Gift

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” ~ Albert Einstein

I love that Einstein held fantasy and imagination in such high regard. I think its marvelous that a man so versed in science and logic appreciated the immense capacity of the imagination and the power of fantasy to transform everyday life. I especially love that he knows it is a gift, a gift he values even more than knowledge. It seems strange at first, as though Einstein, perhaps the greatest scientist the world has known, would prefer fantasy to fact, the unreal to the real.

Einstein shows us that art is not really so far apart from Science and Math and the other disciplines. It drives them, pushes the boundaries, injects them with new expectation. Perhaps Albert Einstein said it best when he said: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” The gift of imagination can allow us to envision miracles and wonders. The power then comes when we believe.

I think of Einstein’s words when I stop to think about the reasons why I write fantasy. Fantasy, and particularly fantasy books offer new perspectives on what is real – the things that are happening below the surface of our thoughts. Fantasy deals with the really “big” questions, like: “why are we here?” Fantasy characters are constantly trying to figure out their world. They are acutely aware of the forces of good and evil and their own part in that spiritual battle. In a good fantasy book, a reader is not limited by the world of the senses … he or she can put on wings and soar through worlds hitherto uncharted. He or she is then free to speak, or think, or dream in the language of poetry – the language of the soul.