Posts Tagged ‘dreaming’

Holiday Traditions and Symbols and Memories…

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

What makes your holiday come alive? Cooking? Celebrating? Gift-giving and receiving? Sports? Shopping? Or is it the memories of doing and experiencing and enjoying all of these things with loved ones and friends in the past…

Remembering anchors so much of who we were to who we are and want to be. Often, we want for things to have been better than they were or for them to become better than they are. But the best memories, the ones that define a time and place or person we’ve loved, can become the symbol of everything we want to achieve again. These kinds of traditions in place and time and relationships tend to come to us most strongly around the holidays.

Christmas gift and baubles on defocused lights background

I believe this so strongly, I naturally wrote a book about it. The book itself was alive long before I wrapped a holiday theme around it. But it was the holiday symbolism I added, complete with past images merging with the present and promising a better future, that made the characters and their story come to life in a way I’d never dreamed.

There’s promise in the past, even if before came with its share of heartache. Searching for the perfect symbols of a bright future (despite disappointments) was my challenge. And yours. All of us could let ourselves become mired in the darker nature memories can hold. Or we can find inspiration there, to want what we once had, or maybe what we’ve never had but still desire. (more…)

The Soul of the Matter: “To comprehend a nector requires sorest need…”

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Sometimes we need a kick in the pants to wake us up to everything we’re taking for granted. Too often, it’s what we “need” that we see most clearly, or what we think is being denied us or what we don’t think we’ll ever have. It’s the comprehending that we’re missing with the rest of our lives. The seeing most clearly what is ours or could be or wants to be, only we neglect the beauty of what is, in preference for the potential of what might be.

beauty flowers

It doesn’t have to be fancy, to catch our eye. What matters simply has to be our obsession, and once it becomes that we can’t look away. It’s true for what we covet, and it can be true for what we have as well.

I often times (read: always) write about characters that can’t see their “nows” because they’re too fixated on what’s missing from their past and what they think the need in their futures.My first novel’s working title was Forever Ago, and it was the very first time I put down on paper my personal philosophy that a person must reach back to before and deal with what’s been most avoided their entire lives, before what she’s meant to be can flourish as she lives forward. I think I’ve been writing about that same dynamic my entire career, in one way or another.

But with recent projects, particularly with Christmas on Mimosa Lane, it’s the impact of our inability to appreciate what we’ve made for ourselves in the now that fascinates me. We’re on a path now. We’re living now. We have so much NOW. Why is it so difficult most days to live here, in the present? Why is that path hardly ever something that we appreciate–until it’s threatened and becomes our obsessions only when we might lose it?

beauty stream path

I selected the above quote from Emily Dickinson to head one of my chapters, (more…)

The Soul of the Matter: “It is good we are dreaming…”

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

I love Emily Dickinson’s succinct word choices. Because of them her poetry can mean exactly what it says, or a world of other things can bloom from her writing depending on the reader’s state of mind. It inspires me that she reportedly spent days, weeks, months, even years choosing and re-selecting just the right words to convey emotion and sentiment and life into her poetry.

There are those who don’t connect as much to the darker themes that flowed from her creativity. Some find her approach jerky and caustic and truncated before full understanding can evolve from the images she conjures. Particularly in a poem like this “dream” one I selected a phrase or two to set off a particularly turbulent moment in Christmas on Mimosa Lane. But for me, it’s forever magical each time I dive in:

We dream—it is good we are dreaming—
It would hurt us—were we awake—
But since it is playing—kill us,
And we are playing—shriek—

Granted she loves herself some punctuation, and I’m a writer who would avoid all em dashes and colons and semi-colons in my work if I could. But I don’t think it’s as simple as her trying to enforce the rhythm she wants the reader to follow. I see a broader brilliance in what she’s doing. An encapsulation of theme and purpose, allowing us to take away small bursts of understanding, even if we don’t continue to read the rest of what she offers.

ED understanding

It IS good we are dreaming.

Dreams can protect us from reality. We all dream and wish we didn’t have to wake. And shouldn’t the goal be to play and shriek and face what we fear might kill us, in those places we go to in our dreaming minds?

Where else would it safe (good) enough to deal with all that we need to, in the hopes of understanding ourselves enough once we return to avoid the very things we feel threatened by?

I’ll share just one more stanza from this poem to give you a better idea of why I selected a few snippets from it for COML:

What harm? Men die—externally—
It is a truth—of Blood—
But we—are dying in Drama—
And Drama—is never dead—

This is a kind of reversal for me, where she takes the very safety of the dreams that protect us, turns them on their ears, and begins to show us the harm of ONLY living in dreams. (more…)