It’s hard to be realistic on our goals. I mean. At least for people like me? People that dream, and see so much opportunity everywhere, so much that can be. Everything is another road, another path that could be traveled. Trying to be realistic is like asking us to cage the bird, to kill the fire, to drain the energy, imprison the free spirit.
So why do you ask me that? Why do you ask me to be realistic?
When I was a kid I got assigned a school project that was to make an hourglass from two soda bottles and sand. I loved the idea. It felt like an opening to tap into whatever creatives prowess I already believed, pretended, aspired, to have back then. I had so many ideas. I wanted to do them all.
I was so in love with all of them, and they were all perfect in their own way that our due date for the project was coming up, and I hadn’t even started. Not even remotely. They were all ideas, all dreams, all goals. I didn’t know where to start and just the idea that, maybe, in actuality, I couldn’t make my perfect soda bottle hourglass stopped me from even trying. I was afraid and frozen.
My mom came to the rescue, sat me down, and hours before class was going to start, she made me work through the project. All the dreams I had? She just crushed them. She didn’t care that the tape had to be perfect wrapped around the nozzles, and the sand had to be the exact shade that I wanted, and that all of the freaking label had to be removed from the bottle, without even leaving a hint of the glue that was there before. And let’s not even mention that I didn’t just want one hourglass. I wanted several, each individual and unique with different colors, and painted over in different ways, with diverse personalities.
I’m sure she did it out of love. I’m sure I didn’t see it back then. I felt like she ruined the whole project because now it wasn’t going to be the perfect one. It was just going to be an hourglass, that any 8 year old could have done. But she understood, she knew, that if I didn’t start getting things done, I never would. If I didn’t start crushing dreams, and actually making reality happen, none of those dreams would ever come true. At least by crushing some (many?), a couple of the dreams would turn into it’s physical existence.
Options, dreams, ideas, goals, plans, expectations, hopes, paths. Their weight. Their need for attention, can often be too much. If you don’t break them into smaller pieces, they just swallow you whole.
But some dreams can turn into real attainable things. And as much as I love dreaming, and I will never start opening my eyes to all the possibilities, I also want to be able to transform the world, the reality I live in.
Which might mean having some realistic goals. It might mean creating some habits. And it might mean ripping apart some of those dreams, while returning others to the bookshelves. At least for awhile.
I really enjoyed last year doing some more writing with more visual exploration, rather than containing myself to one style. It’s fun just doing small series of drawings in response to thoughts and emotions, not keeping myself too attached to their outcome and to their “smartness” or “cleverness.” Hope to do more writing and visual communication like this.
Also, here’s a little poem that evolved from the visual response to the written: