Forrest Imp

Forrest Imp


"Life" says the Imp, scratching its chin with one gnarly finger, “is like a box of chocolates”

“So you never know whatchu gonna get?” I offer.

It was quiet in the park. I am still a tad breathless from my run. I am sitting on the bench enjoying the view of the lake in the spring sunshine when the Imp shows up. Thankfully there is no one else around. There is an old couple sitting by the lakeside too far away to notice me talking to myself. For you see, the Imp only manifests to me, choosing to stay invisible to others.

Pandemonium Grenvillard Woodimp arrived over a year ago, unannounced, unbidden and unwelcome. Despite my initial panic that I was going slowly mad (still could be, dear reader) I have learnt to accept its ways.



Cute or Astute?


“I don’t get it.” continues the Imp, knitting its hands behind its head and leaning back on the bench casually. From where I am sitting it looks like a mutant pretzel with orange icing.

“What don’t you get?” I take a sip from my PowerAde bottle.

“Even a child knows that a box of chocolates is clearly labelled, each chocolate identifiable by its shape, design or wrapping as to what flavour or filling it is. So if you don’t know what you are going to get, either you’re ignoring the instructions or failing to learn from the past experience”

“It’s a cute quote.” I say in defence, “not worthy of such dissection. Just leave it be.”

The Imp tuts. He likes tutting. He has various tuts for various exasperations. He's the King Tut of tuts.


“This is the problem with you humans. You let cuteness impede your logic systems.”

I see a sparrow fly down and land in front of the Imp, cock its head and chirp, chirp away.

The Imp leans forward and starts chirping in a very sparrow like lingo.

I watch as they have a conversation. I have a feeling that the sparrow and the Imp are talking about me as he starts to nod his head in my direction and the sparrow looks at me, chirps some more and then, I kid you not, tuts, before flying off.


The Imp makes a sound like a low rumble of a farmhouse tractor. I suspect it is the beginning of a laugh.

“Are you making fun of me with a sparrow?” It’s hard to disguise the annoyance in my voice.

“The Passer Domesticus, dear Docmo, is an astute and social bird. We were merely sharing our observations on humanity.”

“Talking about observations, “I hit back, “what on earth are you wearing?” I point to the orange lycra shorts and the tight sweat shirt that has some strange logo on it. The Imp looks like a monkey dressed by a demented organ grinder.

He stands up and does a twirl like a prima donna. “Nice no? It’s a new range of sportswear from the 5th dimension. Glows in the dark, kind to the skin, breathable and looks after my important bits so well. It’s called ‘Imp Balance’”

I wince at the thought of Imp bits. “Please…”

“This is the problem with you humans. You let cuteness impede your logic systems.”

— P.G.Woodimp
Distractions
Distractions

Hocus, Pocus or Focus?


We both watch silently as a lithe figure runs past. There is something soul stirring about the sight of an athletic female running by. My heart runs behind.

The Imp kisses its thumb and forefinger and blows in the air.” Bellissimo”

“Delicious distractions aside, dear boy, I am back to discuss your existential crisis.” He starts walking in the general direction of the lake. A gentle breeze brushes me, carrying the smells and sounds of the lake.

“What crisis would that be, PG?” I walk along as he scuttles by in his dayglo orange sports get up.


We reach a bench by the lakeside. The evening sun plays on the ripples, creating waves of light. The old couple have drifted off. We only have a few ducks for company. I am glad the Imp doesn’t start quacking to the Anas Platyrhynchos Domesticus as it did to Passer Domesticus.


The Imp, as always seem to read my mind.”Unlike the sparrow, dear boy, the Duck is not an insightful conversationalist. I do like them though. Preferably crispy with plum sauce.” It makes a smacking noise with its rubbery lips.“Back to your problems. It's our old friend, the self -doubt. It seems never to leave your side"

He seems to have the ability to reach inside my head like a magician and pluck out a thought rabbit that I never knew was there. " I am not sure what you are alluding to."

" 'Course you do. I am talking about your disturbed sleep and constant self-critique"

"Isn't self critique a good thing. Isn't that what keeps us on our toes, striving to better ourselves?"


The Imp shakes his head and tuts again. " Imps are secure in the knowledge of their superiority. We don't dwell in self-doubt and other such thoughts that drain life energy."

I sigh. "Surely there are moments when you aren't sure if your direction of travel is the right one?"


"Sure. If Imps get that thought they sit down at the cross roads, reflect, review and revise their direction of travel if needed.. They don't carry on walking with a heavy heart and a confused mind."

He seems to have the ability to reach inside my head like a magician and pluck out a thought rabbit that I never knew was there.

A Man and his Imp
A Man and his Imp

Prodigious Polymaths

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Leonardo Da Vinci -Painter, sculptor, engineer, astronomer, anatomist, biologist, geologist, physicist, architect, philosopher, humanistMichelangelo Buonarotti -architect, sculptor, painter, poet, writerGalileo Galilei - scientist, mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and philosopherIsaac Newton -  physicist, mathematician, astronomer, theologian, natural philosopher and alchemistBenjamin Franklin - author, political theorist, politician, printer, scientist, inventor, civic activist, publisher and diplomat
Leonardo Da Vinci -Painter, sculptor, engineer, astronomer, anatomist, biologist, geologist, physicist, architect, philosopher, humanist
Leonardo Da Vinci -Painter, sculptor, engineer, astronomer, anatomist, biologist, geologist, physicist, architect, philosopher, humanist
Michelangelo Buonarotti -architect, sculptor, painter, poet, writer
Michelangelo Buonarotti -architect, sculptor, painter, poet, writer
Galileo Galilei - scientist, mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and philosopher
Galileo Galilei - scientist, mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and philosopher
Isaac Newton -  physicist, mathematician, astronomer, theologian, natural philosopher and alchemist
Isaac Newton - physicist, mathematician, astronomer, theologian, natural philosopher and alchemist
Benjamin Franklin - author, political theorist, politician, printer, scientist, inventor, civic activist, publisher and diplomat
Benjamin Franklin - author, political theorist, politician, printer, scientist, inventor, civic activist, publisher and diplomat

An Emphasis on Synthesis?


I watch the lake turn from yellow to orange and then to red. The Imp has a point. Frivolities aside,he has an almost Freudian insight into the inner workings of the human mind.

"You are right. I shouldn't walk around carrying my burden. I should reflect."

"Reflect away, dear boy. That's why I am here. Come, tell papa Imp what troublesome gnat flies in your cranium?"

"I think I lack focus. I have not stuck to one theme and developed it to mastery. I flit an flee with my varied interests. I am like a bee with a flower commitment issue."

The Imp scratches its chin. It was hard to say where the chin ended and the neck started but apparently in Imp world it is an aesthetically pleasing physiognomy.

"Why does this bother you?" The Imp says.

" During the Renaissance the pursuit of diverse themes was considered a positive trait in a person. Look at Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, Newton and Franklin, they handled multiple interests in science, art, literature, music and many more. However, the modern world frowns on diverse interests, it somehow seems to imply lack of focus. Many are chastised if they spread their interests too wide and are asked to focus on developing one. The 'specialists' in the respective fields are deeply suspicious and sometimes even resentful of those who dare to cross over " I say.

" Ok. Does the pursuit of varied subjects at whatever level give you pleasure?"

"Yes. oh yes."

"Has it hampered your progress in life?"

"On the contrary . I feel it has improves my chances, opens my eyes and widens my world"

"Do you think you are not an 'expert' in one area?"

"Maybe. I am not sure. "

The Imp taps me on the shoulder and nods. " I know what you are."

"Do you?"

"Yes I do."

"Then Tell me."


The Imp and his Man
The Imp and his Man

The world needs specialists with their focus, the monomaths with their devotion to discover new depths in knowledge. Equally the world needs those with a wider gaze. Creative generalists who can cross fertilize across divides. Who can wonder and wander, leap and link, synthesize and summarize, mix and match, experience and empathize."

Steve Hardy is the founder of Creative Generalist, a popular weblog for curious divergent thinkers. He is formerly the Business Director of 2004's Magazine of the Year Maisonneuve (eclectic curiosity)
Steve Hardy is the founder of Creative Generalist, a popular weblog for curious divergent thinkers. He is formerly the Business Director of 2004's Magazine of the Year Maisonneuve (eclectic curiosity) | Source

Witty or Pity?

The Imp stands up and stretches. The neon orange athletic Imp wear pulls at odd angles. There are several beats of silence.

"I know what you're going to tell me." I blurt.

"Oh you do, do you?"

"Uh huh."

"Go on then."

"You're going to tell me I am a smug, self satisfied, talentless scribbler."

" Maybe thats what you tell yourself. Try something different."

"Were you going to tell me that I am a generalist whose passion and pleasure lies in variety"

The Imp winks. "Are we just talking variety in arts and sciences or in other aspects too? Would you like me to take you to Pleasure Planet? The ultimate night spot in all dimensions. You'll never come back. "

"Be serious."

The Imp crosses its arms and takes a deep breath. "The world needs specialists with their focus, the monomaths with their devotion to discover new depths in knowledge. Equally the world needs those with a wider gaze. Creative generalists who can cross fertilize across divides. Who can wonder and wander, leap and link, synthesize and summarize, mix and match, experience and empathize."

'Vitruvian Imp'
'Vitruvian Imp' | Source

A Specialist Generalist?

"Wow. Did you just come up with that?"

"No. You should read the wonderful blog, 'The Creative Generalist' by Steve Hardy. Its right up your alley. He dedicates his entire reflections to the subject of creative generalism."

"Thanks. I will have a look."

My mind feels clearer. When specialists get too close to the trees, we need generalists to keep an eye on the forest. I specialize in generalism!

"C'mon Forrest, lets run." says the Imp.

I stand up feeling exhilarated. I am not alone in this world of generalism. These pages are full of kindred spirits. Wonderers and wanderers, leapers and linkers, sympathisers and synthesisers, experiencers and emphathisers, mixers and matchers.

That's why we all congregate here in this wonderful creative space.

I know I belong.

I know I am with friends.

I start running, feeling like an Icarus with redesigned wings (with correction factors for water and sun) . I believe I can fly.

For now, however, I choose to run. Behind this wise Imp.

The Imp races ahead, then stops and adjusts its shorts.

"There is a disturbance in my force. An imbalance in the Imp balance."

"Take your hand out, you dirty Imp."

Some things never change.


The Imp returns in Fifty shades of Imp

© 2012 Mohan Kumar

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Comments 34 comments

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

I would say you are the perennial Renaissance man. If we do not have some people knowing a little about everything and a lot about some things, we specialize so much that nothing gets accomplished. Keep going, Renaissance man.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I got a delightful kick out of this. I love it when i see you have written about The Imp. He is a clever Imp, naughty but clever.HaHa." King Tut of Tuts " Loved it. At least you won one point, telling him how to keep his balance. LOL..Cheers my friend..


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

My first reading of your imp-ishness. I thought at first that he would be imp-udent, but it turns out that he was not even imp-rudent in his advice which you were kind enough to pass along to the rest of us generalists. Great stuff here! Up across the board.


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

Oh how I enjoyed this! In all your clever conversation you imparted much wisdom.

I will always read you. Great wit and insights.

Up and across...Ann Davis


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

This was a very IMPortant message, Docmo, from your IMPish, IMPlacable, IMPervious IMP of a friend. We need specialists in this world but we need generalists even more who can see the big picture and its humorous IMPlications. You are the ONE!


Nils Visser profile image

Nils Visser 4 years ago from The Low Countries

I really enjoyed reading this, well-written and a pleasant mix of humor and reflection. Please sir, can I have some more?


glmclendon profile image

glmclendon 4 years ago

A slick writen peice that was really enjoyed by me. One in which you had to watch closely or you would get lost.

Stay Well


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Another classic imp tale from Docmo! Up and across the board!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Wonderful! Charming, disarming, very insightful and all that tuts in between. :-)

“From where I am sitting it looks like a mutant pretzel with orange icing.”

“The hubpages is full of kindred spirits. Wonderers and wanderers, leapers and linkers, symathizers and synthesizers, experiencers and emphathizers, mixers and matchers.”

It doesn’t get much better than this, Doc. What a treasure of a hub, and a pleasure to read. Voted up, up and away!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@Becky - thank you so much. Really appreciate your visit. I do wish I was a Renaissance man plying my craft(s) in Florence!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@Ruby - I love writing the Imp tales especially since the reception is always heartwarming. Thank you very much.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@xstatic - thank you very much. Your comment is 'Imp-ressive' Appreciate your visit.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@Anndavis- glad you love reading this as I do love writing this. The Imp is my private addiction and he will not leave me be. Thank you so much!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@drbj- I can always count on your kind words and support. The Imp loves drbj as he believes they are kindred spirits. Thank you so much!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@Nils- really appreciate your visit and comments. Do check out the other Imp tales if you like this.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@gmclendon- Thank you sir, for your support and comments.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@Will Starr- much appreciated - coming from such a wonderful writer your comment is a great honor.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@Genna- thank you so much.You've really made my day!


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 4 years ago from USA

Docmo - Kindly forgive me. It is obvious that my perforated eardrum has leaked too much of the gray matter today. The only thing I truly understood in your well constructed and intricate article was the caption below one of the photos - "Distraction." That one I "got." :)

Gus :-)))


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@Gus- Its obvious that my elaborate tactic to attract all clientele- intact or leaky gray matter- works. thanks for your visit ;-)


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 4 years ago from Louisiana

Haha Awesome read Docmo!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Nikkij, appreciate your visit and comments!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden

We could all need an Imp, or maybe we all have one:) Thanks for another awesome read about the imp, I like the discussion between you and the Imp and it is a pleasure to read. Tina


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia

Original and interesting! Enjoyed this one Docmo! Voted up!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

@Thoughtforce- I am really glad you liked this. Thank you so much.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi Weestro- Thank you- much appreciated!


theclevercat profile image

theclevercat 4 years ago from Massachusetts

I love the Imp Chronicles. More, please!!! Awesome vote and up, too... pinned as well and shared with friends irl. :^)


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you clevercat- I am sure PG Woodimp appreciates your enthusiasm. I am sure you have visited the others in thsi series and the Imp promises ot return again.


slcockerham profile image

slcockerham 4 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

Docmo, Your wit and Becky was wise in promoting your impish tales.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

I agree with Thoughforce, wouldn't it be great if we all had an IMP? IMPossible to accomplish but the IMPlications of it are mind boggling! Though your IMP is IMPish he is wise you must admit!

Love these stories and the wisdom and wit you push through your Imp!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

Mohan -

This is fantastic! I bow to your artful superiority in mastering the imp and providing an understanding that tends to cross the realms of greed and imagination, of those generally specializing and those that are special in generalizing. I still see the imp's outfit, as much as I wish I didn't! lol Great Job!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Mohan (Docmo),

It's IMPossible to forget the Imp once this not-so-IMPish creature has invaded one's memory.

Regarding the titles under Leonardo da Vinci's portrait, you neglected to include "polymath." How could you not include polymath, polymath?


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 3 years ago from South Africa

How boring would life be (for some of us) if we had to focus on only one thing all the time. We NEED a diversity of interests.

Thank heavens for the Imp's in our minds!

Excellent introspection, Docmo!


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Love this story and love that imp! Passing this on.

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