Resuscitating Dreams Through Story

Last night I was out to dinner with family. My better half’s father is a professor at the university in our city, and he talked about his work and the many changes happening around the campus. The conversation prompted a nostalgic drive to the university grounds. He wanted to show us the sweeping changes happening around the campus – parks and fields being replaced by condos, parking lots transforming into new student buildings, and shopping malls – all the modern changes of our century springing up in a contained community. During this drive, my eyes were drawn to the old student housing, as yet untouched by the construction surrounding them. I could not look away from the old-fashioned picturesque buildings tucked in amidst the modern structures popping up around them. They looked exactly has I had imagined them when I was young. I’d always dreamed of attending university, and living on campus.

I love learning; school was never a burden for me. I was like a sponge wanting to soak up every drop of knowledge. My life took me on a different route, and I wouldn’t change it because it led me to my life today, but by taking this impromptu tour of the university grounds, I uncovered the possibility of resurrecting my unfulfilled dreams through storytelling. There was no reason I couldn’t return to this place, camera in hand, capturing the images that sparked my imagination. I returned home with the key to unlock fresh inspiration needed to carve out new tales and animate longstanding stories with new life.

I discovered unleashing dormant dreams is a great way to ignite new creations. The past always has stories waiting to be uncovered; it doesn’t matter if it’s your reality or your dreams, driving back to the stories that have endured throughout the years can bring them into the future.

Taming The Muse

Every writer has a muse lurking behind each insight, story and poem. The muse is that desire within ourselves that drives us to write. That desire is always present, even on those days we don’t feel it. Our muse is like a wild creature, arriving on its own schedule and vanishing when we need it the most. Sometimes conjuring up that creative entity can be like performing an unwanted chore.

Our muse can pop up in the most unexpected moments – we have to be mentally prepared to connect to its energy so we can summon it on our own schedule. Some days our muse is intense, stalking us with its overwhelming need; other times we are the hunters trying to chase it from the shadows. Can we tame our muse? I think it misleads us to believe we can. But would we want to? Isn’t it that wild impulsiveness that make us artists? I believe it’s important to respect our muse for the wild creature it is because its unpredictable power is what leads us into new and stimulating territory. By learning to recognize its presence in the context of our daily life, we can manipulate it to our own design.

Like a fingerprint the muse is unique to each writer – sometimes we see it, sometimes we hear it, and sometimes we only feel it. We might not always have control over it, but there’s a comfort in knowing that our muse can’t survive without us – it’s born from our own creative energy, and it’s up to us to discover the means to tap into that power when it comes calling.