To write of dreams is not to write of fairytales and castles and Princes on horses, not for me anyway, it is to write of the wings that writing and reading can give us to soar into other realms. Realms where we understand the human condition more, and present our perceptions of the natural world. I am not one to stay in the realm of realism, and am attracted to fiction, as well as non fiction. Sometimes these boundaries mean nothing though and I feel my realm is dreams. My Prince is the story, my castle is the book, my fairytale is to be an author.
In my dreams I always wanted to write stories- mysteries appealed because you could set up coincidences that you can’t often in real life. Writing makes one have this authorship of life even when one may feel powerless. I think that is why journaling is so magnificent.
This dream to be a writer has been with me from the moment since I was ten and has never left. I read ten books a week from the library throughout my childhood and feel that was the life for me – reading and writing just like the authors I loved. Yet for a time there I put it aside as my main occupation and thought of being something else more stable like a psychologist. It didn’t work.
I kept writing poetry, journals, letters, newsletters, and scary things like doctoral thesis for university and academic essays. Today I spoke to a friend about constricted writing, where you have to fit carefully into a box. Sometimes academic writing felt like that. Although when I met the works of Bell Hooks and Trinh Minh Ha, I knew it could be more.
Writing, in any field, can have an imaginative and original twist. Writing can be to smash boxes and make miracles. Writing can break boundaries, and create new horizons. Writing is something that astounds me, because we have so many ways to tell stories, spoken, painted, and yet people are still attracted to writing and reading the written word.
Yet writing is being smashed into a mish mash of multi-media. Writing is combined with image, slide show, animated words zip across a page, and can explode if you like, or each letter can be typed out one by one.
Writing can dance across an image as well as present an image. Illustrating words can be challenging and some words don’t need illustrating. I am inspired to write from images on pages, photographs, things I photograph, and sometimes writing inspires me to look for certain images.
Yet when I dream I think of more than physical observation. I unpack realities, seek patterns and puzzles, and my dreams can lead me into writing. Writing the real to have patterns that people can follow like tracks. I am tracking the meaning of my existence and the reason I like to dream/write/read and to not be hedged in but explore.
What can a writer today explore? As they always have – the inner and outer experience of life. They can ask questions and really look at values. They can dance for the reader, or challenge the reader. They can respect their reader, or they can patronise them if they are not careful.
They can mystify the reader, astound them, enchant them and then sometimes scare them off. Writers reel you in, and the most skilled keep you reeled in. You are a fish on a rod, and the hook gets sunk in, and it can even be painful to read the work. But when reading is rewarding the writer helps you understand and realise your dreams also. Writers have to let you go at some point. You go back into an ocean of other stories, and recall your tussle with their words.
Animating words onto electronic tablets I know a sound effect will give me the turning of the page. I can even add the sound of a roaring fire or put a candle in the corner. I don’t think books will die, nor will dreams, and readers/listeners/seers will keep the art of the writer alive but they may move multidimensional form.
So as my thoughts about dreams and writing scatter, I know that I will come back to this theme, develop it, tease it out, dream it, analyze the dream and then write it. What will you make of it as you read? Depends so much on your own experience and dreams. But if your dream is to be a writer, maybe you will see my castle shimmering like a mirage, and as you walk towards it, maybe you will ask yourself questions. Maybe you too will dare to dream and to encourage my dream.
(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved words and image.