Sometimes I wonder about people. At present, I wonder about their imaginations.
People everywhere watch movies. They read books. They do it to escape. They do it to dream. When something comes out that appears to stretch the limits of said imagination, people wig out a little bit. Not a lot. Just a little. And that's when I wonder.
I wonder if perhaps my imagination is a bit bigger than theirs. If I can handle a wider scope of the bizarre and mind-twisting pieces. That's not to say I'm better in any way, but it's because of this that sometimes I'm not sure I get what people are talking about.
Here's what I mean.
When The Matrix came out in theatres, people were flipping out. Why? Because, dude, it was such a mind trip. People clamored about how great it was (and with good reason), but then I remember people saying things like, "You'll have to see it twice to get it" and other statements along similar lines. I thought, "Really? It's that messed up?" So I went. I saw it. And I had no clue why so many people were having trouble understanding it and the concepts within it. I saw it once, and I understood it completely. Their reality was fake, caused by machines, who were using humans as batteries. Not a difficult concept to grasp. True, I understand how some people came away with the "Whoa, what if our reality is fake??" idea, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about how people needed to see the movie more than once in order to understand the whole deal.
I think of this because of the movie Inception. People were (and still are) saying some of the same things. How it should be seen more than once so you can "get it." I saw it once. I got it. Again, not hard. From nested dreams to that cheating little end (oh Nolan, you sly dog, you). And no, I don't count the end as a mind f*ck because, let's face it, Nolan did that on purpose just to get people to talk about it and argue over whether or not...well, I won't say in case you haven't seen it.
If I saw any of these movies twice, it's because they were good. Not because I only understood part of it the first time. And I'm not saying everyone does this. I just wonder why it's easier for some to get. Are our imaginations wider? Can we imagine triple dreams and subconcious limbo easier? For example, I'm ridiculous about The Mist - not because the monsters creep me out (though they do), but because of where the monsters came from. Because of that freakish "What if" that floats around out there. Because I can imagine it and it freaks me out. That's what's always scared me long after the scary movie is over. What my imagination conjures up, and it can conjue up some scary crap.
As writers, are we more susceptible to such things? Because we dream and we often dream big, are our imaginations like sponges? Able to absorb so much more and then be wrung out later, full of ideas and fear and fake realities and are-we-real-or-aren't-we stuff? Or are we just like everyone else, our imaginations no more spacious than the people we hope read our work? After all, how can one measure the imagination?
What are you dreaming of now?