Defined: An unrealistic idea or fantastic notion, a pipe dream. For example, She engaged in flights of fancy, such as owning a million-dollar house . This idiom uses flight in the sense of “a soaring of the imagination,” a usage dating from the mid-1600s.
(This ends the series of posts exploring the creative process. Thanks kindly to the readers who commented and read through and explored along with me).
I give way to flights of fancy as easily as a woman invests in a pair of sleek black boots that hug her calves just so or as another greedily eats Belgium chocolate bars from a secret stash buried beneath the La Perla Chemise she bought for him. As does the woman impulse buying Ferragamos at Neiman Marcus without consideration, I too do not cross-examine my silly notions.
If I had my dithers, I’d live out my follies large and vibrantly. Sadly, there are limits, such as money, time, and my humanness. If held back by the boundaries of reality the writer in me takes over and erases the lines confining my earth bound self. Thus is the luxury of a writer’s imagination. When reality limits me, I write myself into a scene and live my flights in Lucas’s DOLBY THX, accompanied by Crayola’s 64 box of crayons, my page no longer blank.
Today I am a woman with eyes the color of Cadbury’s Bourneville chocolate that matches my hair color but not my skin. I am average height wearing Doc Marten’s walking with purpose down Market Street in San Francisco but tomorrow I am slightly taller than average, sporting pink suede ankle-high gladiator sandals. My eyes, the color of the Mediterranean, my skin is milky-white, and the silver-gray hair on my head is so short it spikes. I am in Cape Horn sitting in a bar at the edge of the sea reading the journals of my dead husband that I found in the back of the closet in a chest after he died. He had secrets I never knew.
Last year I hiked to the bottom of El Yunque—a rainforest in Puerto Rico—in Asics running shoes. My heart’s desire was to take a rejuvenating shower under pristine mineral-rich waterfalls. My folly completed, I stood at the bottom looking up wondering why I hadn’t considered the downside. The hike back up under a deluge of rain nearly broke me. The air so thick and heavy trapped my breath behind my organs made me wish for the wings of Pegasus, even the Nimbus 2000, Harry Potter’s broom, would have been welcome that sultry afternoon.
I am waiting for inspiration to seep through me in my next breath, waiting for the words fill the blank page. Until then I am lost in the abyss and wait for my muse, Tobias. He’s lanky with silver hair, grey eyes, and hands the size of dinner plates. He is a rogue, and often deserts me for the Tapas bars in Barcelona where the women are curvy, will twirl, flutter, and mouth come hither. His dependability is not bankable.
For now, I am alone and staring down the barrel of Doc Holiday’s pearl-handed six-shooter in the twilight before nightfall. Tomas, although ethereal, tells me a writer’s life—in training or seasoned—is a solitary pursuit, and that writers are like Jack London’s Buck, who after several tribulations follows the Call of the Wild. Tobias also tells me that writers write for reasons even they do not know, and if pressed for the why of something they’ll confess they do not always know where they stories grow. They just grow.
I have always experienced life in pictures and music. I am a hopeless, incurable romantic that falls deeply in a matter of seconds. Most especially if he is lanky, brilliant, and a Gemini. Annie, get your gun. But mostly, I am prone to flights of fancy, even if they are lived out on the blank page where I create someone to open the mysterious box at the back of the closet where ten year’s worth of journals–pages filled–were left, but not for me.
What do you do when your reality is limited but your heart yearns to fly?
This post was inspired by Kelly Hashway’s, Where Do You See Yourself? Thanks for the inspiration, Kelly.