(Yes, that's mostly my hangover talking.)
Inspiration today comes from the very talented Camilla Engman whose paintings, illustrations and calendars for Christmas are all intelligent bursts of color and joy.
Oh, and on a literary note check out this Globe and Mail article on the declining sales of literary fiction in Canada. While al-Qaeda are cited as possible culprits, terrorists who've blown our imaginations to smithereens, there's no mention of George Bush's almost unbelievable election, performance as a president or inept responses to any number of global issues. I mean if we're not reading fiction because of the disastrous times we live in, I think a whole gallery of international rogues could share the blame.
Of course we need our imaginations for a whole host of purposes: from mocking idiot presidents to creating new worlds within a couple hundred pages of prose, but how do we preserve all that playful grey matter ? Yann Martel comes to the rescue: If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams. In other words, we need intelligent fiction to sustain a worthwhile dream of a future.
(Yes my hangover is slowly disintegrating during the writing of all this.)
So for those of you whose imaginations are still alive and kicking, enjoy the following...
GROTESQUERIES OF THE GODS
While Victor Gliest hadn't a shred of imagination in his head, his dog's fecund mind created worlds, people and futures that poets and artists only dreamt of in moments of supreme intoxication.
Sitting on his favorite bench one afternoon under an empty sky, Victor stared blankly ahead, holding his dog close to his body as though it were a new born baby or a bag of potatoes during a famine. Victor was in the habit of holding most everything close to his chest. He grew up in a family of 12 within the confines of a two bedroom apartment. In short, he valued what little he had.
Victor's dog, who went by the moniker of "Dog", was busy imagining treats in a bag brought to him by a masked parachutist by the name of Argonarita, who would acrobatically leap out of planes, sailing and spinning though the sky in order to land next to Dog to bring him sumptuous little treats.
High above all of this in the canopy of the heavens, two gods were sitting around people-watching the world of mortals below.
"Shall that man die today ?" a hoary god said, pointing down at Victor.
"He's a good man. He just sits on that bench all the time doing nothing. Today, let's be decent," the other god suggested
"But even now the messengers of death have seen my finger and are going to take a life."
"Let them take that little mutt. Its passing will go unnoticed by the universe."
And just like that a world of bone-trees, cat parades and the very existence of Argonarita himself was extinguished.
And it took him several days to notice that something wasn't right with Dog.