‘Tis the season of gifting. ‘Tis a time for wish listing. You’re surely planning, buying, and stashing gifts for those you love (and even some you don’t but who have made it onto your list as the “shoulds” of the season). You’re surely asking what everybody else wants and needs.
Well, I suggest ‘tis time to ask yourself a question or two: As a writer, artist, and dreamer, what do you really, really, in your heart of hearts want? If you had world enough and time, what would be at the top of your wish list?
And don’t forget, ‘tis the time for dreaming big.
Do you dream of being a published author complete with a great editor, publisher, agent, adoring fans, book tours, and guest speaking engagements … ?
Would you love a comfortable place in which to write, make art, and dream? Do you want a space filled with colors and textures and images that nourish you? Or would you prefer the simplicity of a monk’s cell? Do you want silence, music, nature sounds … ? Who or what do you welcome into your space? Is there a desk or floor cushions or a comfy chair? Is there lots of natural light? Soft candle glow? Fabrics? Art? A sense of breathing space?
Is it a room, snug cubby, or spacious cottage by the ocean? Is it a cabin in the depths of an ancient forest or a simple little shed in the backyard that’s all yours for solitary hours of work which is really play?
What books would line your book shelves or are you more the piles-of-books-all-around-you type? Are there poems that move and inspire you? Is there a certain kind of notebook you prefer or pen that feels best in your hand? A new or well used laptop or tablet?
Do you dream of being a part of a writing community? Do you wish you could go away on retreat for a few months or weeks or days? What would that look and feel like?
Well, why not have what you want? Why not create it in your mind if not in your physical environs? Catalogues and flyers abound right now. Why not take advantage of this abundance of imagery. Since you’re in a looking-around-at-it-all mode anyway while shopping for others, why not gather some of those images for yourself as collage material?
“What kind of collage?” you might ask. “And who has the time? ‘Tis the season of giving. Can’t you see I’m busy trying to give here?!”
Since you’re looking anyway, when you see something that stops you with an “ah!” … just because … why not tear it out and toss it in a basket or box or bright gift bag? No need to be neat about it, to get out the scissors or anything. Just rip the photo out and add it to your collection. No need to concern yourself with price or practicality, this is about letting go and having fun. This is about wishing and dreaming and playing with possibility. This is about focusing on what gives you a lift, brings a smile, satisfies a deep inner longing, brings you peace, and/or enlivens you. Maybe it’s a color that speaks to you, or a word or phrase or book title that calls out to you. Maybe a favorite quotation surfaces. Whatever wants to be clipped and saved, place it in your basket. Don’t question it. Don’t analyze it. Just accept it.
Then, gather glue sticks, scissors and something on which to mount your images (poster board, card board, wrapping paper, craft paper, an empty box, etc.) and place these materials and the basket of clippings together. That’s all for now.
When the moment seems right, begin creating a collage (from the French word “to glue”). Maybe even light a candle and put on some meditative music. Or maybe not … .
As the images pass through your fingers let yourself drift into a dreamy sort of state and begin to glue them down. They can overlap, or even cover each other completely (you’ll know what lies beneath when it’s all done), or they can be carefully trimmed and neatly arranged side by side or in geometric patterns. ‘Tis totally up to you. What matters is the process of playing and pasting and wishing and dreaming.
This can be done in a single sitting or over time in stolen moments (like working a jig saw puzzle). When your collage is complete, put it where you’ll see it often or tuck it away in a special but accessible place. You could even spend some time meditating upon it, or free-writing about it. Perhaps, you will be drawn to create a personal ritual. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself and decide to bury or burn it (there is a Native American belief that smoke is visual prayer). Go with whatever wants to be done. Simply listen and you’ll know. ‘Tis the season for dreaming. ‘Tis the season for sleigh bells on the wind.
If nothing else, you’ll feel relaxed. More likely, your creative self will feel nurtured and inspired. Beyond that, who knows, maybe “the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true” … ?
What’s on your wish list? What dreams of yours are waiting in the dark to be spoken of out loud? What will your collage reveal to you? If you take the time …