It is faith and not imagination that gives us supernatural life, faith that justifies us, faith that leads us to contemplation.
Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, New Directions, p.154
Faith is not the same as imagination—in fact it is in some ways the diametrical opposite. Faith means looking at the truth the heart knows, and not blinking; standing before God in the utter silence, and listening.
Somehow I think it is faith, and not imagination, which is the work of poets and musicians, and the best of painters and sculptors. We need to look at truth without blinking if we are going to produce work that is likely to last; even if lasting is in the heart of one person who truly listens to an improvised bass fill, played live, and hears the heart of the one who played it, and is different afterwards, perhaps for the rest of their life.