but at the time, what a soothing balm. i remember a crush once got me through a boring, lazy summer at the cottage (along with drivel about elves by terry brooks). i'm coming around to the feeling that a crush, or strange inflation, is a carrot my imagination dangles in front of me, and i leap and grab and almost have my arms around the crush, to crush its foolishness, when my imaginations pulls up, and i fall back into the water, to come around for a yet higher leap, thrashing and looking increasingly comical, a fish out of water. so then, imagination, to what end do you employ this carrot?
orhan pamuk, a wonderful writer, gives me a hint in his book "my name is red":
[Shekure's face] was thin, though her chin was longer than what I remembered. So, then the mouth of my beloved was surely smaller and narrower than I imagined it to be. For a dozen years, as I ventured from city to city, I'd widened Shekure's mouth out of desire and had imagined her lips to be more pert, fleshy and irresistible, like a large, shiny cherry.
Had I taken Shekure's portrait with me, rendered in the style of the Venetian masters, I wouldn't have felt such loss during my long travels when I could scarcely remember my beloved, whose face I'd left somewhere behind me. For if a lover's face survives emblazoned on your heart, the world is still your home.
here is a graph giving my own interpretation of this passage (using the google charts API!):
the red X denotes the sweet spot. that's where you want to let reality take over. in the novel, perhaps that's when the character needed a portrait, and not his imagination. the odd thing is that a portrait, if sufficiently real, can halt a person, in the viewer's eyes, and then be its own bag of worms.
ok. of course i'm being a bit facetious with the graph. i just wish i had a better check on my imagination and its wily ways. you think i should be able to control it -- but you don't know it personally, now do you?
ps my friend lara has a great post on crushes that you keep in your back pocket. check it out, though i warn you that the color scheme is not for the faint-hearted.