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A Kiss, a Thought and the Imagination
Wednesday, December 17, 2008 • Posted December 17, 2008

From out of the past I hear the gravel voice of Ole Louie “Satchmo” Armstrong singing “Give me a kiss to build a dream on and my imagination will thrive upon that kiss”. I first used that phrase some ten or twelve years ago while writing an article based on recollections of picnicking on the San Saba River during the 1920’s and 30’s. And now that song gives thought to the magic of the imagination and how it can take something small, like a kiss, and build it into a dream to fit one’s own fancy. And so it is with story telling where, with a little imagination, one could change the words of Scatchmo’s song to: “Give me a thought to build a theme on and my imagination will build upon that theme”, and, here again, these words advance the theory that imagination can take something even as small as a thought and build it into a story, be it long or short.

For years I have been writing short articles based on recollections under the logo of “Mostly Memories”. Writing about one’s memories is relatively easy in that all that is required is recording events recalled from the past whereas writing something new often requires considerable more thought as well as the use of the imagination.

While recollections have a magic of their own, in that they can be in one place and an instant later be thousands of miles away in another place and another setting, that magic is limited to only those places it’s person has been whereas the imagination has no limits. It can be anywhere it’s person’s mind wants to be.

It can be in Mason in one instant and an instant later be in Europe; on an Ocean liner heading for ports around the world; on a camel searching for the illusive place called Timbuktu, or on a space ship on it’s way to Mars. It can be anywhere, or do anything it’s person can imagine and one of the nicest thing about this is that the poor can go anywhere and do everything that the rich do for there is no monetary cost for this type of travel.

The imagination works well with our recollections. In the reminiscing of events of the past I can recall the joyous times of my life while attending the dances of my youth. In my recollection I recall every one of the girls who were such wonderful dancers (some of whom were from Mason) and can still sense the thrill of holding them in my arms while dancing around the floor to that wonderful music of the Big Band Era. But no amount of recollections can bring back to life those wonderful dancers who have gone into another world where I suspect they are perhaps dancing with those “gods of music and dance” that I invented years ago.

While writing of my recollections there were many occasions when I strayed from the memory lane and wandered off into the realm of imagination I did, happily, come up with some pretty fair country stories. In most cases each of these stories were generally the product of a thought that had come strolling by and one that I fondled and messed around with until it conceived and gave birth to an idea that through tender loving care expanded until it evolved into a story that was pleasing to me.

I have discovered that thoughts are the birthplace of ideas and ideas can be built into many types of narratives, but where does one find those thoughts interesting enough to be developed into an entertaining story? While they can be found almost anywhere most of them will be of the sterile varity for relatively few can be impregnated or made fertile enough to give birth to ideas needed for a good story. However that is not true in all cases for I have unearthed fruitful thoughts in such places as a movie, a cook book,a pack rat, a presidential convention, cream gravy, floursacks, a lead goat, imaginary gods from the outer world and countless others.

These same conditions are also true for song writers (for songs are stories put to music) and for musicians looking for a new tune. In regards to songs and song writers my mind goes to the musicians who were wanting to write a song that expressed the blues of the south and where they had to look to find the tune and the lyrics they were seeking.

They learned that not only does one look for ideas but one also had to listen. And in listening they found that there were melodies sung by the wind as it riffled through the trees;that there was tragedy in the wails of a drunk woman as she cried out her troubles from a jail cell; and they heard the new musical note they were looking for in the song of a whippoorwill.

Then doing exactly as I had done with my thoughts for a new story they put the sounds they had heard together and began messing around with them, blending them into melodies that were nourished and rehearsed until they conceived and gave birth to the lyrics they wanted and then they announced to the world that the southland had given it a new song and they called it “The Birth of the Blues.”

And thus it is that a kiss or a thought sprinkled with the magic of imagination can be made into shining love stories; bring dreams of the past to life and give birth to a beautiful song of the southland.

    *****

FOOTNOTE:

CAN A SONG BE FOUND IN A LONELY HEART?

    ****

Can one grow melancholy when hearing the words of a song? Some do, some don’t. For those who have never suffered through the agony of a lost love the words found in the following song will have little meaning other than the beauty of the lyrics. However, those who have endured the heartache that follows such a loss will feel and hear the pain of the author as he cries of his loneliness by saying:

When you’re alone who cares for starlight skys,

When you’re alone the magic moonlight dies

At break of dawn there is no sunlight

When your lover has gone.

What lonely hours, the evening shadows bring

What lonely hours, with memories lingering

Like faded flowers,life can’t mean anything

When your lover has gone

When you’re alone, who cares for starlight skies,

When you’re alone the magic moonlight dies

What lonely hours, the evening shadows bring

What lonely hours, with memories lingering

Like faded flowers,life can’t mean anything

When your lover has gone

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