A man came to me and said he wanted to learn of Sanctuary.
"It sounds interesting," he said.
"It's just imagination, right?"
"Just? What do you think imagination is?"
The next day he came back and said, "Imagination is when you see things in your mind. But I don't see things in my mind."
I sighed and said, "Have you ever had a dream?"
I didn't see him for two days after that.
When he came back, he asked, "In my dreams, I don't just see things, but I hear things, feel things. Is that also imagination?"
It was a start.
A week went by and the man came again. He was nervous but trying not to show it. But I could tell because he was too fast.
"What good is imagination if it isn't real?" he asked in a rush. "It's nothing, nothing at all!"
I shrugged my shoulders and ignored him.
For a time, he stood there, being way too fast, then he turned on his heels and stormed out of the temple.
It was raining on the day when he came back and sat down on a step a way away from where I was painting.
He didn't look at me when he said in a low voice, "I keep having those thoughts ... I don't know how to stop them ..."
After a while, he added, "I know it's not real but ... I can't sleep, and I feel as though I'm going crazy."
A while after that he said, "Can you help me?"
I put the brush down and turned to him.
"Walk in the garden with me," I said.
It was raining on the day we walked in the garden.
Everything was misty green and moist, so beautiful.
The rain's small voices filled all the spaces with nothing but holiness.
The man sighed and stepped down, and sighed again.
"It's all real, isn't it," he said as we walked on the soothing grass.
"Imagination is reality."
I stopped and turned to him, gently stroked his shoulder.
"Don't be sad," I said.
"To know that is to have unlocked not just the world, but the heavens, too.
"Now, it's all yours for the taking."
The Man (c) Silvia Hartmann 2008