Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Dreams Are Made Of

At the onset of the 1990s, I had one of the most profound dreams I can remember. The setting was inside my childhood house on Mohn Street, pronounced moon. I could feel myself being drawn to the living room from upstairs, surrounded in darkness for the most part. The only thing illuminated was an easel with a canvas on it. 

I have the dream written down and the creative writing it inspired since then. The painting on the easel was supposed to be my father's. My father wanted to get training as an artist when he was in high school but wasn't able due to lack of finances. 

It wasn't until I acknowledged my own artist within as an adult did I realize how frustrating life must have been for my father. Although he did have one creative outlet, his music. He learned to play the accordion without lessons, but by ear.  

I have gotten so much from this one-scene dream, like a movie clip. Nothing was said and not really vivid. It's message was revealing. I should say its messages were many--Like pay attention to the silent whispers, the hidden canvas you've forgotten, or find that something waiting to be uncovered. Whether in writing and allowing a character to emerge from the depths of your psyche, or taking that first step to pick up a paint brush.  

It's about having the nerve to be creative, artistic. Listening to the revelation and picking up that camera or chisel and not be afraid of the surrounding darkness that sometimes presses in. Go forth this New Year, soon a month old, and dream up a storm!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


A New Year is underway. I don't know about you, but my holidays felt very rushed and like I was on a high speed train watching the scenes go by quickly as I gazed out a window. Our world today is on a fast track and often we don't take time to listen. I'm speaking for myself. I find at times I'm thinking of other things while someone is trying to communicate a story or slice of their life to me.

Just like these old, rusty chairs I spotted along a walk through my neighborhood, if I hadn't seen something aesthetically pleasing about them and hurried past them, I would have missed something to photograph. Same goes for when I'm fretting and feel like I don't have time to really listen, I may miss an opportunity to share an important part of someone and possibly enrich my writing.

Not only did I find these worn chairs appealing, there is potential for a story here. Today I found myself entranced by an encounter I had with someone older than me and with a totally different life experience.  

I listened and really heard things he didn't say. That's what listening is all about, hearing what isn't spoken. He also knew how to weave a story and I immediately was drawn in to his world.

Doesn't look like much in this next picture, yet taking a closer look you may be able to see more than what is there.  Like I can ask, why were these chairs left to rust? How old are the chairs? Was this shed once an out-house? What makes some old deteriorated metal chairs sitting outside abandoned make me take my camera on a walk just to capture them?

The rustier the better in my view.  So for this second week of 2011, may all us creatives take more time to listen and see. And for myself, take more time to meet my writing and other creative goals this year.  Also to grow my blog here ...