The first incident happened while I was driving home recently on a rainy and cold evening. The temperature had dropped below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so I knew that it might be icy, and I drove with caution. I was one of the few cars on the country road that night, and no matter what came into my line of sight, it became fodder for my thoughts. For example, when I came upon a curve in the road, I thought about how that curve could be an integral part of a story.
So, the curve in the road suddenly became the game-changer for Garnet. She felt the car slip even though she didn’t think she was going that fast. Realizing that it must be black ice, she tried to steer out of it, remembering all the best winter driving skills she could. But it didn’t work. The ice gripped the wheels with a vengeance, and within seconds Garnet careened off the road. There was no guard rail to break the fall, but instead, a snow-covered field populated with towering trees with trunks made of steel. Garnet would wake to find herself facing her worst nightmare. Her heart raced as she tried to remember.
The following night something similar happened. I took the dog out for his usual evening stroll. It was an unusually cold night, and when I stood in the middle of the yard and looked up, the sky smiled back at me with clarity and illumination. It seemed like ages since I’d seen this many stars in the night sky, although I’m sure it hadn’t been that long.
As the dog took his time looking for the exact GPS coordinates for where to do his evening duty, my imagination set into high gear as I looked up at those stars. Immediately, they became the stage waiting for the actor to emerge.
Jewel felt like her heart couldn’t bear any more pain. She had been walking for quite some time thinking about what had happened. Why had I suppressed my emotions and buried them so deep that even a crane couldn’t hoist them out? As the wind suddenly kicked up, making it feel even colder, Jewel realized she didn’t mind it. This wicked winter night somehow numbed the pain just enough to help her forget. Her strong legs longed for rest, so she sought out the foundation stone situated next to the old cider mill. That spot always brought her comfort, and she swore she could still smell the apples even though the mill had long since stopped operating.
As she sat down upon the cold and uneven stone and stretched out her legs, Jewel took a long, deep breath and couldn’t help but turn her gaze toward the sky. As she did this, Jewel felt something shift inside her. She felt its intensity and knew right away that she felt different. Ethereal, perhaps. She always did believe in the cosmic pulse. And there above her, the brightest star called out to her and comforted her. “It’s okay, Jewel,” she heard in a whisper. The grief that she was carrying spilled out into the tranquility of the night, and she cried for the first time in months. Her pain buried no longer, and here, underneath this starry sky, she made peace with the present and forgave her past.
In each instance, I was overcome by the metamorphosis that an object, person, place, or thing takes in my mind and how it serves as a foundation for my creative process. Subsequently, it ignites a fire within me: either one that burns brightly for all to see or one that burns slowly, and eventually smolders within the confines of my mind. I’ve never felt more in tune with this, however, than I have the past few weeks.
Perhaps it is because of a confluence of factors that made it seem like my emotions and stress levels were dizzying. It was like being lost in a cave, panicked, and unable to see the light peeking ever so slightly through. So my mind, and maybe even my heart found another way to channel what was happening. Regardless, it stayed with me and allowed me to take a deeper dive into all of it.
As a result, the idea for this article came to me as magically wrapped dot connectors – each one causing the same reaction inside me and helping me to understand better the desire within me to write. The truth is those dots and connectors were likely there all the time, but the reveal would come when I needed it the most.
This awakening – for lack of a better term – continued for several consecutive days. I couldn’t escape it, and honestly, I didn’t want to either. I didn’t capture many of the chapters that I was writing in my head because it came amid the holiday hustle and bustle, and me needing desperately to unplug and recharge. But their imprint remains, and I am becoming more aware.
I’ve always loved to learn and observe; even as a child, I had a wildly vivid imagination. I understand now that my curiosity and the inspiration I find in so many areas of life feeds this creative spirit that is evolving in me. And with it comes the realization of my original narrative – the one I see, create, and write. The boundaries of imagination are limitless when you release the constraints – something I’ve dismissed in the past.
Yet during these past few weeks of finding my way, something changed. Or, maybe, the dots connected just as they should – hardships and all – so that when I finally awakened to it, I could appreciate it, nurture it, and share it. I am thankful for the slow evolution of me as a writer, even though I’m not very disciplined about carving out time to sit and write. But, I capitalize on the moments when they strike. It’s also become more evident to me that when I’m walking in the desert and parched from no water, not to fret. The water will materialize, and it will satiate my thirst – and the free flow of thoughts and words will reunite like long lost lovers.