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The Voice of a Dream
Please Don't Force Me to Have Fun!
"One Woman's Knowing"
Joyce Wakefield
Assistant Editor, Inspirations

A seven-year-old girl sat in class one day and listened with new ears as her teacher read from "Beowulf." It was as though a light was born inside as the words tumbled through the air. Here was a world different from hers, different from any she had ever known or heard about. She heard the battle cries, felt the lake water on her feet. She dreamed and she picked up her pencil and paper and began.

The girl wrote a story then about an old woman, a lake, and a way of living that she knew nothing of. She gave them names and friends and enemies. Watching them live lives of the most fanciful days and the darkest nights, she grew to count them as her own. The day came to share this family of her creation. She assembled her friends and read the story to them, watching their eyes, their faces, hearing the adventure she had dreamed in the laughter of her friends.

That child was myself, and from that moment, my pencil or pen and paper have been the most constant companion in my life. On the freeway, in the store, at odd times and places, the words dance. They strain against the boundaries of reality until the edges blur. They must be born and the pains are not unwelcome. The bonds of familiarity are only strengthened when they take form and substance on the page. A poet friend of mine one day called them "her babies." Yes, I thought, the errant children, headstrong and engulfed in the discovery of themselves.

Hyperchalk by Carmin Karasic It has only been in the last few years that I have begun to see myself as a creative woman. There were the years of the children, the work, the husband. The children are grown, the man is gone, but the words-- the words still sing the bright song that drew me in all those years ago. That same feeling of enchantment lives when I once again see the eyes and faces of my friends as I read them a story, share a poem. My first publication was to a woman's magazine. I watched for days for the issue to arrive in the stores. The day came; I was in a convenience store and it shouted to me, "Momma!" I'm sure the clerk thought I was slightly-- ok, really nutty! I danced around the potato chip aisle and hurried up to show him.

The journey to one's own creative self has many turns and roads that seemingly lead nowhere. The world around us is filled with avenues to walk and the choices are sometimes only a matter of when. The knowing of the creative heart is born inside. It is a faint-at-first leaning to some thought, some vision that simply will not go away. It grows there, just beyond notice, until the day when its existence is no longer a dream. It is the trip to the art store for paint, the museum visit that ends up checking out kiln prices and styles. It is a collection of words that ignites a whole galaxy of dreams and simmers until you put them to paper (or screen!).

Creativity is not only the arts! It is a way of living that honors the beauty that is inherent in every soul. It is the ability to arrange a few wildflowers into a scenario of spring in the corner of a room. It is the hand that wipes the tears from a child's eyes. It is a pot of soup stirred simply into being on a winter's day and shared with someone loved. We, as women, have many moments in our days that are filled with life and laughter, love and tears. This is creativity at its finest.

It is my priceless opinion that all human beings are creative. Each day of our lives is a testament to this urge to change, to grow, and to become. We smile at a stranger and wonder what his life is and how he feels. The story swirls around us and takes shape. It has begun. The ability to reach out to another is our highest creative spirit in charge. It leads our heart, giving us far more than we can return. This creativity embraces all the clouds of our unknowing and set us upon the endlessly rolling waves of possibility.

To be, to do, and to love is to be creative. To see the world through eyes that penetrate the spirit is to be creative. Creativity is not necessarily a talent that springs up uninvited and lives a separate life. It, as with any living creature, needs to be fed and nurtured. It needs the trips to the woods, the walks at the shore. That part of us always grows if we tend it. I do not care if my obituary states my worth in material things. I care that it includes "She wrote a poem once-- I liked it!"

Artwork "Hyperchalk" by Carmin Karasic
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