Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Fantasy with Deep Roots

I've had a vision of my future for years, a possible path as of yet untrodden. I've imagined it a myriad different ways, but there is one unifying element, common to all of them. Each one casts me as a creative conduit, channeling some sort of beauty into the world, something that hadn't existed previously, and taking a huge amount of pleasure from the process.

I've imagine myself as some sort of artisan, making useful objects out of leather or wood and selling them at crafts festivals around the country. I've fantasized about being a novelist, spending hours hunched over a laptop in lazy coffeeshops and remote wilderness cabins. Sometimes I see myself building furniture or, more recently I see myself cooking up huge batches of soap in a multitude of colors and consistencies.

There are three elements to these fantasies that seem to be most important to me. Number one, they satisfy a craving to create. To make something out of nothing, something that other people appreciate and that hopefully exists as something externally meaningful in their lives. Secondly, they create scenarios in which I am the master of my own destiny, architect of my own successes and failures (but mainly successes, is the hope.) Thirdly, they allow me a reason to create a physical space, be it a workshop, a soap station, or a writing den, that is mine, and called into existence for a very specific purpose, a purpose that would serve both my creative drives and my need to earn a living.

I just love the thought of it. Of waking up every morning, and, after a lazy breakfast with Kate, retiring to my office to work on my novel. Or heading into my wood shop to work on a desk, or a table, or some other useful, beautiful object. In my fantasies I'm fulfilled. Ultimately so, happy to meander around the routine I've built for myself and enjoy the spoils of a life geared towards the creation of objects of meaningful permanence.

How does one create such an existence? And do I have the talent for any of it? Those questions are central to the struggle, and the main reasons that my myriad fantasies have remained just that.

But I know that's what I want from life. I've been doggedly dreaming of it for too long for it to be a passing fancy.

It's the doing of it that's difficult.

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