On Wednesday 22 August, Professor of Fundamental Theology Fr. Nicolas Steeves, SJ, visited JESC. His exiting lecture was about the importance of imagination in a person’s life.
Father Nicolas’s focus on the imagination began when he was writing a paper on Fundamental Theology. He was fascinated with the role imaginary plays in faith. He did three short exercises with us. Through those exercises it became clear how different perceptions of the world influence our imaginations. Further, while explaining the power of imagination as a device for the transmission of complex ideas and emotions, he warned that; “Imagination is a good servant but a terrible master.”
The lecture started with a wonderful poem from Mary Oliver.
Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese” (Dream Work, 1986)
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.