I’ve been a dreamer all my life. I remember sitting out on our screened-in porch at the back of my house when I was child playing with paper dolls. (Yes, I’m that old). I loved to envision how my life would look when I was older as my dolls played out each dreamy episode. I would take out my sketchbook and pencil and draw something, a tree, the bust of a woman in our living room, or a flower and let my imagination run to what it would feel like to be that. In my classes at school, bored, I’d look out a window, and if there wasn’t one close by, focus on any inanimate object and stare at it long enough to see what emerged that I could recognize, what it became under my intense scrutiny.
The painting above reminds me of those moments. This woman, languishing on a carpet, dreamily feeling surrounded by orchids, is conjuring up all that she is feeling lovingly surrounded by.
As a result of always wanting to take myself away from the mundane or something uncomfortable with my imagination, I learned to always look for something dreamy, something beautiful, anything else that would make me feel good.
I’m writing a memoir, and that entails being more honest than I’ve allowed myself to be in the past, and I’m noticing how I’m describing times in my life where I felt shame, remorse, betrayal, and I speak about it, glossing over it, to only focus on what good came from it. Bottom Line, I’m having to admit more truth to myself than I ever have.
Yesterday one such experience came up while I was writing. I’d written some days ago, describing a time when I was going through a major challenge and I’d glossed over that incident as if everything that was happening was under control. I’d written about the event as if it didn’t affect me, and I saw through my deception.
Okay. Now that I know this is not true, what is? I stared at the paragraph without a clue what the truth is. I’d been coloring over my feelings so long, I wasn’t sure what my feelings really were. As I sat there, focusing on the written words I put there before, suddenly, inspiration struck. I quickly wrote that truth, and, then, more truths came to help me.
What I took away from this encounter is that our imaginations work for truth as well as for escape. By not resisting, not letting myself get anxious, not putting myself down for not being able to be truthful, not allowing fear to stop me from simply sitting there, waiting, just like I used to do as a child, for something to emerge that I would recognize as the truth, it did.