LTTS | Paper Towns – Imagining Others Complexly

My last post was an example of the In Medias Res posts I’m adding to the blog…another kind are Looking to the Shelves (LTTS)…for inspiration, help, guidance, explanations.

Today I’m turning to John Green’s Paper Towns, which is all about imagining ourselves, those around us, and our myths complexly.

PaperTownsI’m having trouble with that right now.

For example, it is hard to imagine someone complexly when you try to make it match reality, and you don’t know what that reality is. It is hard to imagine someone complexly when they won’t let you see them complexly.

It is hard to imagine someone complexly when they don’t trust you enough to turn the wall they’ve built into a window.

And it is especially hard for the imaginer to imagine the person who built the wall complexly if she thought that the wall was already a window.

What I’m trying to get at is, how can I imagine someone complexly if I don’t know anything at all?

Or the better question: How can I reimagine someone to match the person they truly are, since I imagined them completely wrong in the first place?

And maybe my need to reimagine is because I wasn’t seeing them for who they truly were. Maybe I’m not allowing, as Radar says, to let that person be who they are.

But maybe my need to reimagine is because I never had the proper foundation in the first place.

It’s like, someone told me to make a sculpture. Fine. Give me clay. Or rock and a chisel.

Don’t give me a paintbrush, paints, and a canvas. Let me make the sculpture, not a painting of a sculpture.

Don’t force me to imagine something that will look like you, but inherently isn’t you.

Ce n’est pas une pipe, after all. (Wrong book…)

It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.
-John Green, Paper Towns


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