Imagination transforms one substance into another. It changes what is into what might be, what was into what might have been. Straw becomes gold, gold straw, and neither is more real nor, I submit, more precious than the other. Pebbles turn into luminous pearls and pearls into little gray rocks, both solid and beautiful, both essential. Human beings take shape from clay, angels' wings are spun out of water, fire gives rise to the long tongues of demons, love emerges out of thin air, and the basic elements reconstitute themselves again and again.