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  • Writer's pictureGina Greenlee, Author

Pensar en la Inmortalidad del Cangrejo

Image credit: David Plode, Unsplash

I’ve been following the work of poet Rob Brezsny for decades. In his weekly “Freewill Astrology” syndicated posts he says that he “doesn’t predict the future.” Rather he offers “regular bursts of inspiration to illuminate your adventures.”

One such for Capricorns during the week of August 25, 2022:

In the Spanish language, there’s the idiom pensando en la inmortalidad del cangrejo. Its literal translation is “thinking about the immortality of the crab.” It applies to a person engaged in creative daydreaming—her imagination wandering freely in hopes of rousing innovative solutions to practical dilemmas. Other languages have similar idioms. In Finnish, istun ja mietin syntyjä syviä means “wondering about the world's early origins.” Polish has marzyć o niebieskich migdałach, or “dreaming about blue almonds.” I encourage you to enjoy an abundance of such explorations in the coming days, Capricorn. You need to fantasize more than usual.

Image credit: Greg Williams, Wikiworld

It is rare that Brezsny’s inspirations don’t resonate with me. The week of this particular offering, in August 2022, I had returned from a trip across the country after having spent three months packing up my belongings from an apartment I’d lived in for 14 years. I was deeply, crisply, emotionally, physically and spiritually fried. Nothing appealed to me more than wandering through the corridors of my imagination. Continues Brezsny:

The word “imagination” doesn’t get much respect. For many people, it connotes “make-believe,” the province of children and artists. But I believe the imagination is the most important asset we all possess; it’s the power to form mental pictures of things that don’t exist yet. As such, it’s what we use to shape our future.

That’s why it’s so disturbing to realize that the imagination is increasingly becoming a vestigial organ. It’s being pummeled into dysfunction by the numbing onslaught of generic and nihilistic images that endlessly flood from the mass media. How can you generate your own images or ask your own questions if your mind’s eye is swarming with dazzling yet inane creations crafted by news and entertainment companies that possess what amounts to sleek multimillion-dollar propaganda machines?

To get a sense of the growing devastation, wander around a grade school at recess. Kids’ conversations will overflow with the regurgitation of stories that have been blast-furnaced into their sensitive psyches by movies, TV shows, and video games.

Sand crab
Image credit: Gabriel Cattaruzzi, Unsplash

In the ensuing months I’ve embraced Brezsny’s take-it-or-leave-it August 22, 2022 benediction as a next phase of life: be more than do; create more than consume, dive deeply into a life informed by pensar en la inmortalidad del cangrejo.


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