Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wishful Thinking

I love daydreaming. You can create any experience you want to when you daydream. Often it is a scenario you've already lived through, but would like to change: preventing a fight with a lover; choice words you wish you could have said to your boss; someone you wish you'd stopped to help but didn't because you were in a hurry...

Sometimes it is pure fantasy: how it might be to meet your soul mate; what your life would be like if you'd gone a different path; what it would be like to be one of the top 5 American Idol contestants...

My daydreams have frequently been about creating beautiful things. I've tried all sorts of mediums. When I was about 12, I thought I had discovered the most creative way in the world to save and recycle Christmas cards when I realized that by punching holes around the perimeter of the card, I could easily crochet a frame around the card and and add a crocheted hanger to facilitate it's second life as a beautiful (?) holiday decoration. (Mom, where DID you put that? I haven't seen it since I was, um,....about...12. Hmmmmm....)

And when I wanted to express my deep and abiding love for a boyfriend, daydreaming helped me design and create a colorful and unusual (!!!) candle wall sconce. (Unfortunately, I didn't take into consideration what the flame might do to the polymer clay that adorned the wood base and backboard covered with a double coating of polyurethane. Ewww.)

One daydream had me sticking feathers onto a canvas, pushing them into the wet acrylic paint that sort of had a bird shape...not one of my more successful projects.

Daydreams, wishful thinking, fantasies...They are the portals for creativity. They are the voices of our spirit given the opportunity to speak. There are no boundaries or rules that we need to embrace in our daydreams and that enables us to travel farther than we might otherwise give ourselves permission to and if we fail, (which we rarely do in daydreams), who's to know? It's not real anyway. But if we succeed, it is just a little more real than it was a moment ago. And each time we give it a thought it becomes a little more real until we finally manifest it somehow into our lives.

I have long daydreamed that I might produce creative work that other people would enjoy enough to actually want to purchase. Proof that the voice expressing itself through my daydreams was singing an aria, not croaking like a frog. I didn't really care what medium it was expressed through, although I've always been better at creating visually interesting things than any other form. The last couple of years I've finally seen the arc my creative life has taken and how my wishful thinking and daydreams have helped me to achieve this goal. But what I realize more than ever is that the creative process is the real goal. The daydreaming, the planning, the purchasing or finding of the materials, the setting aside time to let my ideas find their way from my imagination to my hands, the witnessing (and that is exactly what it feels like) of colors, shapes, textures coming together into it's own form---always different than what I had expected--and finally, the finishing touches. Even the packaging... The process is as close a connection with a higher power as I can imagine having without dying first.

So when I see my daughters staring off at nothing in particular, or observe them watching themselves in the mirror as they pretend to cry, or hear them talking to themselves or singing to an imaginary audience of thousands in their bedrooms, I smile and am delighted that they are giving their spirits voice. And they will manifest some of their daydreams and other times they won't, but somewhere down the road they will discover for themselves that their daydreams and wishful thinking were the maps they followed to reach their goals.

You can visit my shop at to see where my wishful thinking has taken me!

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