The path of the creative is traveled through the experience of imagination.
Finding that path can be difficult sometimes because writers need silence and solitude to cross the threshold from reality to imagination. But life comes at you fast. It throws you curve balls when you least expect it, and impedes your path with dead ends at the most inopportune times.
Before you know it you find yourself out of sync.
When this happens, there is only one thing I recommend.
Wander into the realm of your imagination. Lose yourself in the halls of your heart. You may be surprised at what you will find when you drift into a daydream and are whisked away by the winds of your musing.
As writers…as artists…as creatives we need to do this.
If, for no other reason, than to be inspired!
Shatter the dam of logical thought and let the waters of free association run through you wildly.
Chase after that image of an ancient kingdom that towers commandingly over rolling hills and a peaceful landscape. Pursue the passion of a long-lost love that eludes you like a butterfly on a quiet, sunny afternoon. Swim in the embrace of a fantasy. Hear her whisper and feel her breath caress your soul when she confesses to you that she still remembers the trace of your lips.
Do this, because as writers, our collection of colors comes from the well of our souls. We paint pictures with words. These descriptions, while they don’t have to be an exact re-telling of something we experienced, are capable of helping us paint a portrait for our readers that will trigger a memory of their own, or allow them to willingly lose themselves in the worlds we create.
This is how we connect with our readers, by creating relatable characters.
Lose perspective in order to gain perspective.
Does that make sense?
OK, think of it this way.
Life, nature, everything is cyclical.
Galaxies swirl in the vast ocean of eternity and within these island universes: stars are born; comets follow their paths and return to kiss our night skies in their own time as chaos ensues all around.
Yet, this is where the beauty lies, doesn’t it?
Finding order out of chaos.
I recall one night in the winter of 1998 quite vividly. I left the barracks for a walk when I was stationed in upstate New York. In the still of the night the stars had assumed their place in the sky. I felt lonely and homesick. I was still a kid and I remember the hopelessness that circumnavigated my heart and sunk my hope of ever falling “in” love while in the bay of heartbreak. Words swam to the surface that would later become a poem, and splashed my face to conceal my tears.
I took a walk
On a cold night in the fall,
Stars in the sky
For my wish they twinkle and call
I leave my body
To join the stars in space,
From an eternal distance
I see the sadness on my face…
I permitted myself to wander through a creative wormhole and emerged in another dimension. It was like an astral projection where I saw myself walk with the would-be love of my life. She had eyes as soft as raindrops and her hair lured me in with the sweetest scent. We huddled together, as we walked, holding hands, and talking about nothing. The moment was beautiful.
Had I seen her before?
From where did the vision of her beauty come?
That remains a mystery to me.
I’t’s been said that even the people we see in our dreams are not a creation of our minds, but rather they are the faces we’ve seen in a crowd—at some point in our lives—that our brains remember even when our conscious thoughts forget the memory.
In this particular case, I did not allow conscious thought to interfere and it was a good thing, too!
When writing, when painting, when drawing don’t limit yourself to the rules of reality that confine you to adhere to the laws of physics. This is your chance, as is the case when you lose yourself in your imagination, to cross the threshold of time and space to journey beyond the boundaries of your inner galaxy.
Allow your soul to reveal to you the story that you must tell because it may be exactly the story that someone else needs in order to escape the stress of his or her daily life. After all, don’t we all need to step back sometimes and take a moment alone to recompose ourselves before moving forward?
Daydream, damn it!
Wander aimlessly through the corridors of your mind and the valleys of your heart, and remember that even though life must be lived … every now and again, it’s always good to fall into the clouds of our dreams. That is, after all, why God gave us these eternal horizons of thought.
“Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.” ~Freud