Often when I am creating I go into another imaginative place. I feel that I am in a world of my own creation, the place of daydreams. It is a great space to be in when you are writing or doing some visual art. But at times this ability to put myself into a story or travel with my mind has not been appreciated by others.
As a child I became easily lost in the world of make-believe. I remember going to a scary play when I was about 5 and became very distressed because one of the characters terrified me. I thought it was real. I had to be taken out of the theatre. It was on a school excursion and the head teacher was not impressed. She obviously had no imagination and could not understand why a little child might be frightened. I also found the MGM lion very terrifying because it was so big and loud. I thought he was going to eat me and hid behind my hands.
In kindergarten another girl and I were totally involved in a game we were playing and decided not to go inside when the bell rang. We went to an area where there was an empty water feature with rock formations and continued our game. Then the drama started. The teacher started calling our names and we knew we were in trouble and hid behind the rocks and did not come out. Things started to escalate and more people were looking for us. Eventually we reluctantly decided to face the music and got into a whole lot of trouble. Our mothers had been called and as punishment we had to spend the rest of the afternoon in the principle’s office nervously giggling. We were only little kids acting out our fantasies but the reaction of the adults was totally out of proportion because of their fears.
As I became older I spent a lot of time in school daydreaming through classes or dreary assemblies. I think that I missed lots of vital information by drifting off into my own little world. Luckily there was always art class. I could always concentrate on my artwork or a good book or anything that engaged me. My early school reports often had remarks like needs to make more of an effort or would do better if she paid attention and concentrated on the work. Any tendency to let your mind wander was to be discouraged.
All my day dreaming never did me any harm. In fact without it I never would have persisted at any art form. Ideas don’t just fall into your lap without time spent musing. You can’t change reality without first imagining something different. The world probably would not have many inventions or great works of art and literature without lots of daydreaming on the part of their creators. Questions like “What if I do this? What would happen if? How can I do that?” are often answered by daydreaming.
Nowadays I tend to daydream in the garden, watching TV or gazing out the window when I’m in the studio. For this reason it is good to have some kind of view, especially if there is a bit of nature. It is also easy to daydream under the shower or in the bath because the hot water is very relaxing. The only problem is that you can’t write anything down and have to quickly dry yourself and find a notebook before forgetting the idea. Often when you are in this state your mind flits around from one topic to another so it can be difficult to keep track of your thoughts. If I am in that frame of mind I take a notebook into the bathroom just in case.
For those of us who have chosen to follow the creative path, daydreaming is an essential part of the creative process and losing oneself in some imaginative place is not something to discourage. Being able to transport yourself somewhere else mentally or transform yourself into another character is really helpful. A moment flight of fancy can develop into a story or a series of paintings. Never stop your mind from wandering or as my parents used to say, being away with the fairies.
Away with the Fairies
One midsummer night I dreamed
I’m in a tree far away
Visible in full moon light
I lie on branches with the fey
Faces glimpsed amongst the leaves
Figures hide behind the limbs
Bright beings with fragile wings
Stir the air and fan my skin
Some drift around me as I gaze
A whispered spell upon me cast
I finally slip out of the haze
To find my bliss at last
© theartistschild.com 2017
Daydreams can become reality so let yourself fly.
Here is one of my favorite day dreaming songs from the 70s.