by Sunfire "Hear the boy within you laugh once again—"

From Jonathan Commisar's Easton Mountain Anthem"

Think of someone whose company you enjoy. What is there about this person that makes this so? He tells stories that intrigue you. He laughs. He listens to you. You feel that you can say anything to him and he can say anything to you. You share your imagination with him and you share in his imagination.

Remember when you were a boy. Your mind was filled with imagination. When you read stories of adventure or fantasy, you saw yourself as part of that story. You built tree houses and sand castles, drew pictures and played games that grew out of your own imagination. If you were lucky, your parents and teachers tolerated and perhaps encouraged this. But very often you had to keep your imagination to yourself, and so you developed a private world that may have become a place of refuge.

When you reached puberty, your imagination took an erotic turn. Your fantasies included what it would be like to know another male body and be known in the same way.

The June 26-28 Summer Splash weekend will focus on imagination. But you don't have to wait for that weekend. Here is an exercise to spark your imagination. In this exercise you will create a set of instructions for you or someone else to follow. Here's how to do it.

Write three imperative sentences or three paragraphs each beginning with an imperative sentence. The first sentence or paragraph should begin with the word "Contemplate"; the second, with the word "Visualize"; and the third, with the word, "Express." The third sentence or paragraph should not specify a mode of expression - like writing, drawing of movement - but rather focus on what should be expressed. It might simply be, "Express what you visualized," or "Express how you feel when..."

I will transfer your three sentences or paragraphs to a five-by-seven index card. In one of the workshops during the June 26-28 weekend, participants will be asked to select a card at random from all answers submitted and use the process of contemplate ... visualize ... express to create a drawing, painting, song, movement piece, poem, essay, sculpture or collage. Participants will have the option of working with their own card.

To make it easy for you to take part in this project, I've created a form for you to 1) express your interest in this work and 2) send me the results of your doing this preliminary exercise.

Click here to use this form. Your imagination will contribute to our work.