A friend once told me that she thinks about life as existing in a series of buckets. More importantly, she said that she measures happiness according to the overall state of these buckets. Each of the intrinsic parts of her life has its own bucket. There is a bucket for work, for love, for health, for family...and so on. To fill all of these buckets, evenly and completely, all of the time, is pretty gosh darn hard to do. However, keep most of them full, and it’s not so hard to keep perspective when one gets a little low.
But what do you do when two, or three, or four of your buckets get knocked over, into the mud, and covered with slugs in the damp of the night? Or worse, what happens when one of these buckets is kicked to the curb, and dented by a passing car? Where and how do you start cleaning, repairing, refilling and rebalancing them all?
Personally, I think there’s nothing wrong with sitting in the garden WITH the buckets and the slugs, feeling the rain, softly falling, for several, long, cathartic hours. After all, slugs do make good photographic subjects given their slow-moving natures. You might even consider inviting a friend over to join you. Your friend could keep you company, help to pose the slugs and make hot mugs of tea to keep away the damp.
However, if neither you, nor your friend, are partial to this wet, yet whimsical, cheer-you-up exercise, then you will need something else. You will need something rejuvenating and inspiring that can take you outside yourself to regain those moments of balance. You will need something that reminds you who YOU are, and helps you to find perspective in the midst of change. You will need your creative dreams.
Dreams are amazing, powerful things. But, we usually think of them as hopeful illusions, or distant possibilities. We often don’t acknowledge our creative dreams to others, much less ourselves, for fear of sounding ridiculous. With our dreams, we are shy. We are wont to thinking that REAL LIFE, not REAL DREAMS, are the most valuable of commodities.
Actually this IS the true illusion – not our dreams. It really doesn’t matter how big, or how small, how ambitious, or how fantastical are your dreams. It just matters that they are yours. It matters that you have them, and that you hold on to them with both hands and, if possible, your feet too. When you do, your dreams become your roots, and your strength. When the life buckets are topsy-turvy and dented, your creative dreams are the things that help with the tidying up. They are there to bring you home.
So despite the fear of sounding ridiculous, and for the sake of holding on with both my hands and my feet, here is my creative dream: To create images and words, words and images - combined together, sometimes, but not always. Thought-provoking, comforting, magical. A moment of wow...Enjoy!
Ps. Things are moving in the development of my dream. I hope I can share it all with you by the next posting. Thank for being so encouraging!